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sustainabilityReviewA Survey of the Status and Challenges of GreenBuilding Development in Various CountriesYinqi Zhang 1 , He Wang 1 , Weijun Gao 1,2,* , Fan Wang 3 , Nan Zhou 4 ,Daniel M. Kammen 5 and Xiaoyu Ying 61 School of Environmental Engineering, the University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu 8080135, Japan;[email protected] (Y.Z.); [email protected] (H.W.)2 iSMART, Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao 266033, China3 Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development Building Design, HeriotWatt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK; [email protected]4 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley CA 94720, USA; [email protected]5 Energy and Resources Group (ERG); The University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720, USA;[email protected]6 Department of Engineering, Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou 310015, China;[email protected]* Correspondence: [email protected]Received: 30 August 2019; Accepted: 19 September 2019; Published: 29 September 2019Abstract: Since the energy crisis in the 1960s, crucial research and activities were spurred to improveenergy efficiency and decrease environmental pollution. To deal with the various problems theconstruction industry are facing, the concept of green buildings (GBs) has been gradually shaped andput forward all over the world, and green building rating systems (GBRSs) have been developed.The concept of GBs covers a wide range of elements, and its definition is constantly updated asthe construction industry develops. This paper compares the development of backgrounds andstatuses of green building development in various countries. It also presents an overview of thegreen building development situation within these countries, summarizing two influences for GBdevelopment: one external and the other internal. External factors include GB development policysupport, economic benefits, and certification schemes. Internal factors are the development andapplication of GB technology, the level of building management, and how users interact with the GBtechnology. Currently, 49 worldwide green building standards and application have been sorted out,including 18 standard expert appraisal systems. Moreover, it discusses the research results and lessonslearned from green building projects in different countries and summarizes their achievements andchallenges. To correctly understand and use green building technology, it is essential to improve thepolicy and incentive system, improve the professional quality and technical ability of employees andaccredited consultants, constantly develop and update the evaluation system, strengthen technologicalinnovation, and integrate design and management. This paper aims to draw a clear roadmap fornational standard development, policy formulation, and construction design companies, providesolutions to remove the obstacles, and suggest research direction for future studies.Keywords: green buildings; sustainable building; green building technologies; green buildingrating systems1. IntroductionToday’s global issues like climate change, energy shortages, increasing environmental pollution,rising population, and rapid urbanization present tremendous challenges to the sustainabledevelopment of human society [1]. NASA reports that the global average temperature has increasedSustainability 2019, 11, 5385; doi:10.3390/su11195385 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainabilitySustainability 2019, 11, 5385 2 of 29by 1.8 ◦F since 1880 [2]. The rise in global average temperature is expected to be about 4.5 ◦F by 2050from the CO2 increase alone [3]. The world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy-relatedconsumption will increase from 32.3 billion metric tons in 2012 to 43.4 billion metric tons in 2040 [4].Meanwhile, the growing population continues to place a heavier burden on the environment. Accordingto World Population Prospects 2017, during the 13 years from 2005, the world’s population had addedabout one billion newborns, and world population would reach 9.8 billion in 2050 [5]. This increasingpopulation and galloping urbanization are accelerating the demand for energy [1] that will reach 900 EJprimary energy use in 2050 [6].Among those various causes of these problems, the building construction industry has beencriticized as being a leading exploiter of a large proportion of primary energy and natural resources [7].Globally, the industry has made a significant impact on our resources, environment, society, economy,and human health. It consumes 30% of global resources, 15% of global freshwater withdraws,one-fourth of wood harvested, and nearly half of raw materials used [7]. The CO2 released from theenergy used to produce tiles, glass, concrete, and other construction materials is more than those ofindustry and transport [1]. The building sector generates 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases [8]and 40%–50% of water pollution to the environment [1]. Additionally, it contributes 40% of the totalsolid waste in developed countries [9]. To address these issues, the construction of green buildings(GB) focuses on improving building energy efficiency and alleviating construction’s negative impactson the environment and resources [10]. It can integrate strategies from all building life cycle stages,including siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction toreduce the negative impacts on energy, water, materials, and other natural resources. It can alsodecrease environmental pollution from waste, air and water pollution, indoor pollution, heat islands,stormwater runoff, noise, and more [11]. The introduction and implementation of GBs have indeedachieved reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emission and improvement in water managementin many projects. At least in their design proposals, the designers demonstrate their intentions tofollow GBs guidance to achieve the best outcome.Although GB certification programs and the square footage they cover are increasing each year,they are still far from the total floor area of the huge building market. This is partly due to themany restrictions on the promotion of GBs. Also, although extensive research has examined variousaspects of GBs, there has been a lack of systematic review of the state of the art and future tendenciesfrom around the world, including developing countries. This paper presents a critical overview ofGB development status in various countries and related studies by discussing the research resultsproduced by GB technology implementation, looking at both external and internal factors. The goalsof this paper are to draw a clear roadmap for national standard development, policy formulation, andconstruction design companies, offer guidance for overcoming GB development barriers, and providea comprehensive reference for future academic researchers.2. MethodsThis paper combines academical articles and conference proceedings by keyword searching andoriginal contents and data from official web sites of green building evaluation standards in variouscountries. Relevant literature reviews of green building development mainly use multiple databaseslike Web of Science and Scopus [12–14]. Some researchers believed Scopus is better in terms ofaccuracy [12], and also had a wider range of academical literature coverage [15]. They used Scopesto identify the paradigms of GB research and draw the trend of GB development. Some authors usekeyword searches to collect relevant articles. Likewise, this study adopted databases and keywordsearches to identify relevant articles of GB and technologies. Additionally, the original official politicsof different countries, and GB rating systems all over the world and their current development statuswere reviewed as well. The contents and data are mainly from the official web site. Some of them aretranslated from the local language to English.Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 3 of 29The method of this paper consists of six elements, of which the structure is shown in Figure 1. Thefirst is to identify all factors that influence the development of green building in the world and dividethem into two categories—the external and internal. The purpose of this division is to clearly identifythe key influencing factors related to different stakeholders in the development of green buildings.The second is to study the history of GB to understand the original purpose of the concept which isdesigned to deal with the global energy crisis and environmental problems. It attracted considerableinterest from fields as diverse as architectural engineering technologies, economics, human health, andassessment methods over time. The concept continues to develop with a range of opinions. The third isto analyze all influence factors. The external factor refers to the development status of green building,which includes policy support, economic benefits, and certification schemes. A clear roadmap isprovided by analyzing these three factors for policy formulation and national standard development.The internal factor refers to fundamental characteristics of green building which include technologiesimplementation, building management, and occupants’ behavior. The study of these factors is to offerguidance for designers, engineers, and all stakeholders to deal with GB development barriers. Finally,future trends and tendencies provided a comprehensive reference and potential directions of relatedstudies for future academic researchers.The structure of this paper is shown in Figure 1. Firstly, a comprehensive survey of the historicaland current development of GB is summarized in Section 3. The status quo of relevant GBs policies,certification standards and projects achievement in various countries, which stand for external factor,are surveyed and summarized in Section 4. Following that, the internal factor in terms of a detailedfundamental state of GBs with specific technologies is introduced in Section 5. Subsequently, Section 6focuses on the barriers to the adoption of GBs and strategies for overcoming these barriers. Finally, theconclusion is provided in Section 7.Sustainability 2019, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 3 of 29were reviewed as well. The contents and data are mainly from the official web site. Some of them aretranslated from the local language to English.The method of this paper consists of six elements, of which the structure is shown in Figure 1.The first is to identify all factors that influence the development of green building in the world anddivide them into two categories—the external and internal. The purpose of this division is to clearlyidentify the key influencing factors related to different stakeholders in the development of greenbuildings. The second is to study the history of GB to understand the original purpose of the conceptwhich is designed to deal with the global energy crisis and environmental problems. It attractedconsiderable interest from fields as diverse as architectural engineering technologies, economics,human health, and assessment methods over time. The concept continues to develop with a range ofopinions. The third is to analyze all influence factors. The external factor refers to the developmentstatus of green building, which includes policy support, economic benefits, and certification schemes.A clear roadmap is provided by analyzing these three factors for policy formulation and nationalstandard development. The internal factor refers to fundamental characteristics of green buildingwhich include technologies implementation, building management, and occupants’ behavior. Thestudy of these factors is to offer guidance for designers, engineers, and all stakeholders to deal withGB development barriers. Finally, future trends and tendencies provided a comprehensive referenceand potential directions of related studies for future academic researchers.The structure of this paper is shown in Figure 1. Firstly, a comprehensive survey of the historicaland current development of GB is summarized in Section 3. The status quo of relevant GBs policies,certification standards and projects achievement in various countries, which stand for external factor,are surveyed and summarized in Section 4. Following that, the internal factor in terms of a detailedfundamental state of GBs with specific technologies is introduced in Section 5. Subsequently, Section6 focuses on the barriers to the adoption of GBs and strategies for overcoming these barriers. Finally,the conclusion is provided in Section 7.Figure 1. Factors influencing green building (GB) development.3. Background and DefinitionGreen building development can be traced back to the energy crisis in the 1960s, which spurredcrucial research and activities to improve energy efficiency and decrease environmental pollution[16]. Combined with the energetic environmental movement of the time, these early experiments ledto the contemporary GB movement, which originated from a focus on energy-efficient andenvironmentally friendly building construction practices. The Earth Summit held in 1992, also knownas the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), brought forth theRio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda that stimulated the buildingenvironmental protection upsurge [17]. In 1990, the first GB rating system, the Building ResearchEstablishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), which was developed by the BuildingResearch Establishment (BRE) in the UK, presented a systematic method to evaluate theFigure 1. Factors influencing green building (GB) development.3. Background and DefinitionGreen building development can be traced back to the energy crisis in the 1960s, which spurredcrucial research and activities to improve energy efficiency and decrease environmental pollution [16].Combined with the energetic environmental movement of the time, these early experiments led to thecontemporary GB movement, which originated from a focus on energy-efficient and environmentallyfriendly building construction practices. The Earth Summit held in 1992, also known as the UnitedNations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), brought forth the Rio Declarationon Environment and Development and Agenda that stimulated the building environmental protectionupsurge [17]. In 1990, the first GB rating system, the Building Research Establishment EnvironmentalAssessment Method (BREEAM), which was developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE)in the UK, presented a systematic method to evaluate the implementation and performance of GBs [18].Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 4 of 29Following this point, extensive GB assessment tools were developed by government or third parties ofdifferent countries with the aim of addressing the quality of buildings [19].Green buildings are not easily defined, as the concept continues to develop with a range ofopinions. The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is a global network of GB councils in over70 countries. It claims that countries and regions have various characteristics such as history, cultureand traditions, distinctive climates conditions, different building types and ages, and environmental,economic, and social priorities that shape GB methods [20]. Green building is not the same acrossthe globe [21]; its definitions represent the requirements of national and regional building industrydevelopment. WorldGBC defines green building as aiming to reduce or eliminate negative impactson the environment during the whole building life cycle, creating positive impacts on the climateand environment [22]. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has claimed that“green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentallyresponsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle from siting to design, construction,operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction [11].” A generally accepted description in theUnited Kingdom and European Union is that a green building contributes in some way to preservingthe environment, while also considering the idea of well-being of the occupants, both in terms ofuse of space and quality of air. The concept is closer to that of sustainable buildings and sustainableconstruction. Apart from energy efficiency, it also includes aspects such as the decrease of CO2emissions, which seems to differ slightly between the EU and the U.S. [23]. The first GB certificationsystem, BREEAM, could represent the concept of GBs in the UK that focuses both on energy efficiencyand the well-being of people who live and work in the building [24]. This concept makes greenand sustainable buildings interchangeable. Similarly, the GB definition in Japan also shares themeaning with sustainable building, by including energy and resources, materials, and emission oftoxic substances, while also seeking to harmonize the building with local aspects and improve humanlife [25]. Table 1 indicates a selection of GB definitions from different organizations.Table 1. Definitions of GBs.Country Organization DefinitionUSAWorld Green BuildingCouncilA GB is a building that, in its design, construction, or operationreduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positiveimpacts, on our climate and natural environment [20].U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA)Green building is the practice of creating structures and usingprocesses that are environmentally responsible andresource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle, fromsiting to design, construction, operation, maintenance,renovation, and deconstruction [11].U.S. Green BuildingCouncil (USGBC)The planning, design, construction, and operations ofbuildings with several central, foremost considerations:energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, materialuse, and the building’s effects on its site [26].UK Building ResearchEstablishmentThe GB Certification BREEAM could represent the concept ofGBs that are more sustainable environments that enhance thewell-being of the people who live and work in them, helpprotect natural resources, and make more attractive propertyinvestments [24].Europe European CommissionDelegationA Sustainable Building contributes in some way to preservingthe environment, also increasingly extends to the idea of thewell-being of the occupants, both in terms of space usage andair quality [23].Germany German SustainableBuilding Council (DGNB)Sustainable building means using and introducing availableresources consciously, minimizing energy consumption andpreserving the environment [27].Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 5 of 29Table 1. Cont.Country Organization DefinitionFrance Haute QualiteEnvironment (HQE)Certificated sustainable building endorse the overallperformance of a building and that of the four areasconsidered by the certification scheme: energy, environment,health and comfort [28].Australia Green Building CouncilAustraliaGreen Building incorporates principles of sustainabledevelopment, meeting the needs of the present withoutcompromising the future [29].Japan Architectural Institute ofJapan (AIJ)A sustainable building (green building) is one which isdesigned: (1) to save energy and resources, recycle materials,and minimize the emission of toxic substances throughout itslife cycle; (2) to harmonize with the local climate, traditions,culture, and surrounding environment; and (3) to be able tosustain and improve the quality of human life whilemaintaining the capacity of the ecosystem at the local andglobal levels [25].China Assessment Standardof GBsGreen building refers to a building that saves resources to theextent within the whole life cycle of the building, includingsaving energy, land, water, and materials while protecting theenvironment and reducing pollution so it provides peoplewith a healthy, comfortable, efficient use space, and works inharmony with nature [30].SingaporeInter-MinisterialCommittee on SustainableDevelopment (IMCSD)Green building is energy and water efficient, with a highquality and healthy indoor environment, integrated withgreen spaces and constructed from eco-friendly materials [31].Some researchers wanted to demarcate the concept of GBs and sustainability in detail. However,that approach will lead to a narrow understanding of GBs that limit their development. They thinkalthough GBs have been developing, the environmental aspect is the core concept [7]. GBs areenvironmentally and ecologically sound in terms of land, energy, water, and materials. Sustainability isa nonstop development concept that depends on various countries’ building practices [32]. It consistsof four aspects: environmental, social, economic impacts, and institutional dimension [7,33]. Accordingto different development situations, the concept of sustainability could contain every factor of humanactivity [34]. Whereas, focusing exclusively on the energy conservation and environmental aspect butneglecting the social, economic, and institutional factors will hinder GB development. At present,although many GB concepts have been successful and are developing in a good direction, there arestill many obstacles and misunderstandings about GBs. Section 6 discusses this in more detail.4. Development StatusThe development status of GBs relates to external factors, including policy support, economicbenefits, and certification schemes. Ecological objectives are embodied in policy and regulation.Economic benefits will influence the motivation of a stakeholders’ decision. The green buildingcertification scheme’s purpose is to be a symbol, and as a green building guide for theconstruction process.4.1. Policy SupportAs noted above, GB is an integrated process of the whole building life cycle, with many components,including energy, water, materials, land, environment, human health, construction, management, andmore. Any policy related to these areas can be further related to GBs. The GBs in the United States, theUK, and Japan have entered a relatively mature implementation stage. Those countries have establishedand improved the GB laws and regulation systems. These laws, regulations, departmental codes, andregional regulations of GBs depend on and complement each other. The perfect and comprehensivelegal system provides an important guarantee and premise for the standard development of GB.Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 6 of 29In the United States, the GB policies include mandate and incentive-based policies, which bothplay vital roles in GB implementation [35–37]. The government adopts zoning regulations and buildingbenchmarks to guarantee the realization of GBs objectives. They can be classified at the federal,state, and local levels [37,38]. Policies at the federal level are mainly for buildings constructed andoccupied by the government. They always focus on internal activities, with the aim to decrease theenvironmental footprint; examples of these are the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and The Federal GreenConstruction Guide for Specifiers [39]. Green policies at state levels focus on non-government buildingsand require volunteer efforts by private developers [39]. However, some policies cannot adequatelypursue local GB objectives. Consequently, many local governments establish their own green policieswhich are more detailed and likely to promote the involvement of private developers [39,40]. Theincentive-based policies are grouped with various strategies, such as tax incentives, financial incentives,density bonuses, and priority permit processing to achieve an environmental agenda. In 2000, the Stateof New York first adopted a tax-based incentive program for GBs. Many states integrated their financialincentives to the third-party verification system, such as Oregon and Maryland. Following the Oregonstatutory directive, the State Department of Energy employed Leadership in Energy and EnvironmentalDesign (LEED) as the applicable standard to help a project get a tax credit [39]. California instituted GBguideline in 2004 as the first mandatory policy. The City of Chicago proposed the Chicago Standard,which asks all new municipal construction meet LEED certification. Regulation is regarded as the mostpowerful policy tool for GB development [41].There are 60 results in guidance, regulation, and business funds and grants for energy efficiencyin buildings from 2008 to 2018 in the UK government website [42]. Building regulation guidesthe British construction industry, which sets the minimum performance standard for energy-savingperformance of buildings, utilization of renewable energy, and carbon emission reduction [43]. Theimplementation of the building energy efficiency label is one of the effective measures to promote GBsin the UK. Additionally, the British government commissioned the British Research Establishment(BRE) to develop the Sustainable Housing Code, which is a mandated standard that guides thebuilding industry in implementing GBs. Furthermore, since 2008, all new homes in England andnew homes funded or recommended by the government and authorities in Wales, as well as all-newindependent public rental housing in Northern Ireland, will be subject to a mandatory building ratingprocess. BREEAM is widely applied in the UK, due to the fact that professional organizations andthe construction industry have made a great effort to progressively make it compulsory for all newbuildings and renovation projects [44]. In November 2018, the European Commission presentedits strategic long-term vision to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, showing how Europe canlead the way to climate neutrality, an economy with net-zero GHG emissions [45]. Sustainable andclimate-proofed buildings are required to meet the targets to achieve a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.Japan is a country with very limited energy and resources. Energy security is always the mostsignificant issue in Japan, especially with the serious global warming problem. Consequently, theJapanese government has been making unremitting efforts to guide the national building energyconservation work and the promotion of GBs through laws, regulations, and policies. Japan has a widerange of relevant laws, regulations, and policies that they keep updating based on development. Thepolicies include mandates, supports, and incentives. In 1979, Japan formulated the Energy ConservationLaw, which holds up the basic principles of energy conservation. It strengthens the independentenergy management of enterprises. Simultaneously, it standardized the energy-using managementrelationship and energy-saving behaviors among government, enterprises, and individuals, whichprovided the working basis for energy conservation management in Japan. The government establishedstandards for constructors to promote the use of energy-saving measures in home construction. Forbuilding sellers and renters, it is clearly stipulated that they must provide information to consumersby energy-saving performance labeling. Moreover, the government offered financial incentives thatencourage both the GBs construction and development of advanced building technologies. GreenSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 7 of 29retrofits can also earn incentives. The government leads the promotion of the GB rating system(CASBEE), which is jointly developed and promoted by industry, universities, and research institutes.Due to the dramatic construction boom and rapid urbanization, GBs in China have significantimplications [46,47]. In 2013 the Chinese government issued the Green Building Action Plan, whichaccelerated China’s GB development and promoted the transformation of the development mode ofthe construction industry. One billion square meters of GBs are expected to be completed from 2015to 2020. The percentage of certificated GBs area to new urban buildings construction area was 20%in 2015 and is expected to be 50% in 2020. Meanwhile, China emphasizes the development of GBsthrough a combination of mandates and incentives. Some local governments mandated that all newconstruction of public buildings meet the requirement for GBs. For example, Shanghai has passedlocal legislation to establish a mandatory promotion system, stipulating that all new buildings in thecity shall comply with the GBs standards. No less than 70% of new public buildings in low-carbondevelopment practice areas and key functional areas are constructed according to the two-star standardor above. The strictest water resource management system is implemented, controlling, and managingthe total amount of water used by regions and enterprises. Shanghai vigorously promotes water-savingdemonstration activities in water-saving parks, campuses, communities, enterprises, and governmentagencies. By 2020, the water consumption of 10 million yuan of GDP and 10 million yuan of industrialadded value in the city will decrease by about 23% and 20%, respectively, compared with 2015 [48].Finland’s industries have set ambitious targets for 2030 that will triple the market share of woodconstruction, double the value added to the woodworking industries, and decrease the environmentalimpact by 30% [49]. In Australia, to fulfill the commitment to reduce up to 28% of GHG emissionsby 2030 [50], many green-building rating tools have been developed. In India, some governmentagencies have provided discounts on premium charges. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) mandates that all government buildings should be at minimum Green Rating for IntegratedHabitat Assessment (GRIHA) three stars certified [51]. The Malaysian government has facilitatedcommunication between the private sector and non-profit organizations [52]. Certified GBs can applyfor tax and stamp duty exemptions [53]. Eligible GBs in Singapore can get up to a 2% gross floor area(GFA) bonus [54]. In Indonesia, the Quezon City Government passed its GB Ordinance No. SP-1917(QCGBO) in 2009. All the new buildings and retrofit structures in Quezon City must comply withthe Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the GB ordinance [55]. Green buildings in Vietnamare still in their infancy, and facing numerous challenges. Similar to the Singapore Building andConstruction Agency, the Vietnam government is developing its own agency to promote GB projectsand improve the efficiency of the decision-making framework for GB development. Hanoi and Ho ChiMinh City will be the first pilots before the decision-making model is applied to the whole country [56].Since 2009 when the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) was endorsed to develop LOTUS, aset of market-based green building rating systems specifically for the Vietnamese built environment,there has been a continuous increase in awareness of green building benefits among policymakers,investors, and industry professionals. The National Green Growth Strategy, which was issued bythe Prime Minister of Vietnam, indicated that the government “require investors to implement greenmeasures when they build new commercial buildings or retrofit old buildings, and will have incentivesfor manufacturers who make products for green buildings” [57].The process of promoting GB implementation is slightly different between Western and Easterncountries. In Eastern counties, such as Japan and China, the government organizes the formulation ofrelevant standards and implements them gradually; even adopting mandatory measures to conductstrict management from the planning and design stage of buildings. Western countries such as theUnited States differ from this model, adopting federal, state, and local level zoning regulations andemploying building standards developed by non-governmental organizations. As the first countryto implement green building certification, the UK has achieved a relatively advanced level of greenbuilding development. Ethical consideration has also played an important role in the development ofgreen buildings. In addition to the relevant policy and economic support, what is more important isSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 8 of 29that the UK’s professional organizations and industrial construction will take sustainable developmentas their social responsibility. They all see it as their responsibility to develop green buildings, not justfor financial support or certification labels.4.2. Economic BenefitsSome recent research has focused on the economics of GBs, which is one of the most importantfactors influencing stakeholders’ GB implementation decisions. Ofek et al. (2018) explored factorsinfluencing the investment decisions of three GB interest groups—consumers, architects, and buildingdevelopers in Israel. They found that potential energy and maintenance savings and increases in realestate values are the main forces driving consumers’ decisions [58]. Maintenance savings are one ofthe vital factors positively related to GB premium size [59]. By contrast, energy price increases andstriving for innovation are the main factors influencing developers’ decisions [58].There is a common idea that high technology means high price and that GBs equal high-costbuildings. Some researchers argue that certified GBs cannot save money or even energy. On thecontrary, others believe that GBs can contribute significantly to energy and money savings, and provideenvironmentally friendly construction.Green building projects added extra costs of 1% to 10%, based on Lockwood’s research. Thisis because the green premium includes efficient mechanical systems which are quite expensive andcomplex extended designing process [60]. Dwaikat and Ali (2018) used the life cycle cost (LCC) methodand found that the future cost associated with operation and maintenance is 3.6 times higher than theinitial cost of GBs [61]. Davis Langdon (2007) indicates that the initial construction costs of a five-starGreen Star building are likely to be 3% to 5% higher than conventional buildings, and 8% to 10% ora six-star Green Star project [62]. Ross et al. (2007) developed a financial model that illustrated thatLEED-certified projects cost 10% more because of the large cost of labor and materials, which accountsfor the largest proportion of GB costs [63].On the other hand, from a maintenance perspective, some researchers suggest that GBs performbetter than conventional buildings in terms of energy efficiency and water efficiency, which improvescost efficiency [64]. The Indian researcher Vyas (2015) outlined the potential benefit of Indiangovernment GBs. The average increase in the initial cost is 3.1% for three-star certified GBs and 9.37%for five-star GBs. The discounted payback period for GBs, which considers the time value of money, is2.04 to 7.56 years for three-star certified projects and 2.37 to 9.14 years for five-star ones. However, Vyasbelieves that savings from a GBs can cover the incremental cost in GBs [51]. Zhao (2018) investigatedthe time effects of GB policy on energy performance in low-income house units. Due to reduced energyusage in GBs, financial savings came to 648 dollars per year [65].4.3. Certification Schemes4.3.1. GBs Rating Systems (GBRSs)Since the first GB assessment BREEAM issued in 1990, the development of GB aligns with thedevelopment of the green building rating system (GBRS). Over forty GBRSs have been developedby governments or third parties with the aim of promoting sustainable buildings [19,66,67]. Usingthe keyword ‘green buildings’, ‘green buildings rating system’, and ‘green buildings standard’ onthe Internet, and related research papers, there are 49 rating systems summarized specifically for GBdesign and certification in various countries (Figure 2 and Appendix A). Approximately four-fifths ofthe systems are used in their own countries. A GBRS defines the attributes of GBs, provides tools toassess the environmental effects of buildings, and identifies specific interventions intended to promotethe green building market [68]. Countries develop GBRSs based on the principle of adapting to localconditions and constantly update them in real-time to meet GB development needs. In addition,throughout the GB development process, GBRS institutions have played a vital role in promoting GBSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 9 of 29development. They established a long-term, scientific GB market mechanism through open and fairGB evaluation and certification work.Sustainability 2019, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 29Figure 2. Timeline of green building rating system (GBRS) development [7,39,55,69–85].Over the past 20 years, extensive research has focused on GBRS conditions and development.Todd analyzed the global trends in LEED certification, including LEED for New Construction RatingSystem (LEED-NC) and LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM)and individual LEED credits achievement [68]. Ponterosso et al. compared the physically monitoredenvironment of a BREEAM “Excellent” certification office with occupancy comfort and buildingmanagement system metrics [86]. The concept and framework of Comprehensive Assessment Systemfor Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE)-City were introduced by Murakami [87]. While otherresearchers compared selected GBRSs to investigate the different indicators or their capability inpromoting GB development, Li et al. (2017) proposed a four-level assessment method comparisonthat features: (1) general comparisons; (2) category comparisons; (3) criterion comparisons; and (4)indicator comparisons, which are based on 57 articles from three academic databases [88]. Doan(2017) compared four GB rating systems: LEED, BREEAM, CASBEE, and Green Star NZ. Indoorenvironmental quality, energy, and materials are core common elements of content for the four ratingsystems [7]. Doan indicated that 408 papers related to BREEAM, LEED, or CASBEE were publishedin various professional journals since 1998. The number of GB rating papers increased dramaticallyfrom 1998 to 2006. Compared to the significantly higher number of papers discussing LEED andBREEAM, the number of research papers about CASBEE and GREEN Star NZ is limited [7].Many evaluation criteria have developed a series of sub-evaluation systems tailored to differentscales, construction phase, or building type. For example, LEED includes LEED Building Design andConstruction (BD + C), LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID + C), LEED Building Operationsand Maintenance (O + M), LEED Neighbourhood Development (ND), LEED Homes, and more.CASBEE consists of construction (housing and buildings), urban (town development), and citymanagement. According to the Construction phase, BREEAM is divided into New Construction(NC), BREEAM in-use, BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO). China’s GBRS family includesGreen Commercial Building, Green Industrial Building, Green Hospital, Green Museum, and more,classifying subcategories based on building types. These standards will be more targeted to give theappropriate GB construction strategy for a select building type.4.3.2. Accredited Professionals (AP)For better GBRS implementation, many professionals who conduct auditing for achieving GBRScredits were certified. Sometimes they also can help to implement the international application of theGBRS to which the professionals belong. They work closely with the design team and the developersduring the entire building construction process. The workflow is shown in Figure 3.Figure 2. Timeline of green building rating system (GBRS) development [7,39,55,69–85].Over the past 20 years, extensive research has focused on GBRS conditions and development.Todd analyzed the global trends in LEED certification, including LEED for New Construction RatingSystem (LEED-NC) and LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM)and individual LEED credits achievement [68]. Ponterosso et al. compared the physically monitoredenvironment of a BREEAM “Excellent” certification office with occupancy comfort and buildingmanagement system metrics [86]. The concept and framework of Comprehensive Assessment Systemfor Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE)-City were introduced by Murakami [87]. While otherresearchers compared selected GBRSs to investigate the different indicators or their capability inpromoting GB development, Li et al. (2017) proposed a four-level assessment method comparisonthat features: (1) general comparisons; (2) category comparisons; (3) criterion comparisons; and(4) indicator comparisons, which are based on 57 articles from three academic databases [88]. Doan(2017) compared four GB rating systems: LEED, BREEAM, CASBEE, and Green Star NZ. Indoorenvironmental quality, energy, and materials are core common elements of content for the four ratingsystems [7]. Doan indicated that 408 papers related to BREEAM, LEED, or CASBEE were published invarious professional journals since 1998. The number of GB rating papers increased dramatically from1998 to 2006. Compared to the significantly higher number of papers discussing LEED and BREEAM,the number of research papers about CASBEE and GREEN Star NZ is limited [7].Many evaluation criteria have developed a series of sub-evaluation systems tailored to differentscales, construction phase, or building type. For example, LEED includes LEED Building Design andConstruction (BD + C), LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID + C), LEED Building Operationsand Maintenance (O + M), LEED Neighbourhood Development (ND), LEED Homes, and more.CASBEE consists of construction (housing and buildings), urban (town development), and citymanagement. According to the Construction phase, BREEAM is divided into New Construction(NC), BREEAM in-use, BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO). China’s GBRS family includesGreen Commercial Building, Green Industrial Building, Green Hospital, Green Museum, and more,classifying subcategories based on building types. These standards will be more targeted to give theappropriate GB construction strategy for a select building type.4.3.2. Accredited Professionals (AP)For better GBRS implementation, many professionals who conduct auditing for achieving GBRScredits were certified. Sometimes they also can help to implement the international application of theGBRS to which the professionals belong. They work closely with the design team and the developersduring the entire building construction process. The workflow is shown in Figure 3.Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 10 of 29Sustainability 2019, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 10 of 29Figure 3. The certified accredited professionals workflow [89].Of the 49 rating systems in the world, 18 GBRSs have developed an accredited professionals’certification (Table 2). The other standard systems do not specify the qualification requirements forevaluators. The admission requirements of GBRS professionals are similar. First, BREEAM, GermanSustainable Building Council (DGNB, Stuttgart, Germany), High-Quality Environmental standard(HQE, Paris, France), Green Mark (GM, Singapore, Singapore), Built Environmental AssessmentMethod (BEAM, Hong Kong, China), and GRIHA ask that those applying hold a university degreeor an equivalent qualification from the construction field with professional working experience.CASBEE even requires that the applicant for AP of new building design and construction hold a firstclass architect license [90]. The other GBRSs in Table 2 strongly recommend degree-level educationand working experience but it is not compulsory. Almost all the eligible applicants must participatein relevant training courses, in person or online, or take part in a workshop initially. After completingall the aspects of the training courses, they will learn the role of the AP and what a project ordevelopment needs to do to meet GBRS targets and sustainability goals. Following the training, thestudents must pass an examination so they can attain the certification of accredited professionals.LEED does not require participation in the training course, but requires that applicants pass the LEEDGreen Associate (LEED GA) test first, and then take and pass the LEED AP test, to be granted theLEED AP certificate and use of the industry logo. GREENSHIP in Indonesia is similar to LEED GAand AP [91]. There are no prerequisites or eligibility requirements for the LEED GA examination. Inthe LEED and Green Star evaluation process, projects involving LEED AP or Green Star AP willachieve an additional credit.Table 2. Certification requirement for professionals of GBRSs [89–106].Countries Standard Professionals Education WorkingExperienceTrainingCourse Examination Credits ExtraAmericaLEED LEED GALEED AP ◯ ◯ ◯ ● ●GPRCertified GBProfessional(CGBP)◯ ◯ ● ● ✕EDGE EDGE Expert ◯ ◯ ● ● ✕WELL WELL AP ◯ ◯ ◯ ● ✕UnitedKingdom BREEAMBREEAMAssessorBREEAM AP● ● ● ● ✕Germany DGNBDGNB RegisteredProfessionalDGNB AuditorsDGNB Consultant● ● ● ● ✕France HQE HQE Référents ● ● ● ● ✕AustraliaNABERS/ABGR AccreditedAssessor ◯ ◯ ● ✕ ✕GS AccreditedProfessional ◯ ◯ ● ● ●NGO LBC Living FutureAccredited ◯ ◯ ● ✕ ✕Figure 3. The certified accredited professionals workflow [89].Of the 49 rating systems in the world, 18 GBRSs have developed an accredited professionals’certification (Table 2). The other standard systems do not specify the qualification requirements forevaluators. The admission requirements of GBRS professionals are similar. First, BREEAM, GermanSustainable Building Council (DGNB, Stuttgart, Germany), High-Quality Environmental standard(HQE, Paris, France), Green Mark (GM, Singapore, Singapore), Built Environmental AssessmentMethod (BEAM, Hong Kong, China), and GRIHA ask that those applying hold a university degree oran equivalent qualification from the construction field with professional working experience. CASBEEeven requires that the applicant for AP of new building design and construction hold a first-classarchitect license [90]. The other GBRSs in Table 2 strongly recommend degree-level education andworking experience but it is not compulsory. Almost all the eligible applicants must participate inrelevant training courses, in person or online, or take part in a workshop initially. After completing allthe aspects of the training courses, they will learn the role of the AP and what a project or developmentneeds to do to meet GBRS targets and sustainability goals. Following the training, the students mustpass an examination so they can attain the certification of accredited professionals. LEED does notrequire participation in the training course, but requires that applicants pass the LEED Green Associate(LEED GA) test first, and then take and pass the LEED AP test, to be granted the LEED AP certificateand use of the industry logo. GREENSHIP in Indonesia is similar to LEED GA and AP [91]. There areno prerequisites or eligibility requirements for the LEED GA examination. In the LEED and Green Starevaluation process, projects involving LEED AP or Green Star AP will achieve an additional credit.Table 2. Certification requirement for professionals of GBRSs [89–106]. CountriesStandardProfessionalsEducationWorkingTrainingExtraExperienceCourseExaminationCredits America LEEDLEED GALEED AP###GPRCertified GBProfessional (CGBP)## ×EDGE EDGE Expert # # ×WELL WELL AP # # # ×UnitedKingdom BREEAMBREEAM APBREEAM Assessor × GermanyDGNBProfessionalDGNB RegisteredDGNB AuditorsDGNB Consultant ×FranceHQE####×××HQE RéférentsAustraliaGSAccredited ProfessionalNABERS/ABGR Accredited Assessor Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 11 of 29Table 2. Cont.Countries Standard Professionals Education WorkingExperienceTrainingCourse Examination Credits ExtraNGO LBC Living FutureAccredited # # × ×Japan CASBEE CASBEE AccreditedProfessional (AP) # ×Singapore GMGreen Mark Manager(GMM) Green MarkProfessional ×HongKong BEAM BEAM Professionals (BEAM Pro) ×Philippine BERDE Certified BERDE Professionals # # ×Malaysia GBI Accredited GBI Certifier # # ×India GRIHA GRIHA CertifiedProfessional ×Abu Dhabi EPRS Pearl QualifiedProfessional # # ×Indonesia GREENSHIP GREENSHIP GAGREENSHIP AP # # ×Note: : mandatory; #: strongly recommend; ×: None.4.3.3. Project AchievementsSince BREEAM was promulgated in 1990, it has been carried out in 77 countries for nearly 30 years,with a total of 565,790 certification programs accumulated, ranking the first in the world, accounting for80% of the total certificated green building projects in the world (Figure 4). LEED, which was enactedin 1998, has the widest reach, reaching 167 countries [107]. WELL followed BREEAM as the thirdwidest used in 58 countries [108]. Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE, Washington,America), DGNB, and Living Building Challenge (LBC, Seattle, America) are used in more than twentycountries [70,109,110]. HQE, the Green Building Assessment (GBA, Ottawa, Canada), and GM areused in 17, 16, and 15 countries, respectively. Assessment Standard of GBs (ESGB, Beijing, China), andGreen Globes (GG, Toronto, Canada) are tentatively being applied in one country outside their owncountries (Figure 5). According to the SmartMarket report “Global GBs Trends 2018” jointly released byDodge Data & Analytics and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the global GB market is on the rise.Of the respondents in the study, 47% believe that more than 60% of their construction projects will becertified under a recognized green building system by 2021. Nineteen of these countries are expectedto see strong growth over the next three years. The report surveyed more than 2000 building expertsin 86 countries, including architects, contractors, consultants, developers, engineering companies,and investors. Nearly half of those surveyed said they would focus on GB projects over the nextthree years. Market demand and health factors are key drivers of the building sector’s transitionto sustainable development, with the future growth of new commercial buildings, institutions, andhigh-end residential buildings particularly promising. Two-thirds of respondents also said LEEDcertification makes buildings perform better, while more than half said LEED provides credibility forGBs. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed predicted that GBs would save 6% on operating costs overthe next year, with 80% saying the trend would continue over the next five years. With the popularityof operating costs and health benefits, the value of GBs will continue to increase [20].The importance of technology in GBs has always been underestimated, particularly in measuringenergy performance and its impact on households. In 2016, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)(the global LEED project certification body and a green enterprise certification company) created theArc certification platform to manage and compare building data through five measurement criteria:energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience. Tracking performance is the key to futureSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 12 of 29GB certification. Both Arc and LEED v4.1 are designed to provide a quick and easy way to createa healthy living environment to ensure that all GBs perform well from the start of construction tocompletion and beyond. Arc has now certified 1.5 billion square meters in 80 countries worldwide.The LEED v4.1 rating system introduced in 2019 also provides a new way to improve GB performance.At present, there are 94,000 LEED-certified commercial projects around the world, with an average of2.2 million square meters of LEED-certified buildings every day.Sustainability 2019, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 12 of 29Figure 4. The number of countries in which each standard is applied (by 2018) [70,109,111–119].Figure 5. Certified GBRS projects [71,73,108,109,111–113,115–128].The importance of technology in GBs has always been underestimated, particularly inmeasuring energy performance and its impact on households. In 2016, Green Business CertificationInc. (GBCI) (the global LEED project certification body and a green enterprise certification company)created the Arc certification platform to manage and compare building data through fivemeasurement criteria: energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience. Trackingperformance is the key to future GB certification. Both Arc and LEED v4.1 are designed to provide aquick and easy way to create a healthy living environment to ensure that all GBs perform well fromthe start of construction to completion and beyond. Arc has now certified 1.5 billion square meters in80 countries worldwide. The LEED v4.1 rating system introduced in 2019 also provides a new wayto improve GB performance. At present, there are 94,000 LEED-certified commercial projects aroundthe world, with an average of 2.2 million square meters of LEED-certified buildings every day.5. Fundamental CharacteristicsThe fundamental characteristics of GBs stand for internal factors, including GB technologies(GBTs) implementation, building management, and occupant behavior. The term GBTs refers totechnologies integrated into building design and construction to make the building sustainable[129,130]. Managerial aspects of green buildings refer to integrated management of the wholebuilding life cycle stage [131]. The third is the relationship between occupant behavior and buildingperformance.167775827 25 2417 16 152 2020406080100120140160180LEED BREEAM WELL EDGE DGNB LBC HQE GBA/GBTool GM ESGB GGNumber of countriesFigure 4. The number of countries in which each standard is applied (by 2018) [70,109,111–119].Sustainability 2019, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 12 of 29Figure 4. The number of countries in which each standard is applied (by 2018) [70,109,111–119].Figure 5. Certified GBRS projects [71,73,108,109,111–113,115–128].The importance of technology in GBs has always been underestimated, particularly inmeasuring energy performance and its impact on households. In 2016, Green Business CertificationInc. (GBCI) (the global LEED project certification body and a green enterprise certification company)created the Arc certification platform to manage and compare building data through fivemeasurement criteria: energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience. Trackingperformance is the key to future GB certification. Both Arc and LEED v4.1 are designed to provide aquick and easy way to create a healthy living environment to ensure that all GBs perform well fromthe start of construction to completion and beyond. Arc has now certified 1.5 billion square meters in80 countries worldwide. The LEED v4.1 rating system introduced in 2019 also provides a new wayto improve GB performance. At present, there are 94,000 LEED-certified commercial projects aroundthe world, with an average of 2.2 million square meters of LEED-certified buildings every day.5. Fundamental CharacteristicsThe fundamental characteristics of GBs stand for internal factors, including GB technologies(GBTs) implementation, building management, and occupant behavior. The term GBTs refers totechnologies integrated into building design and construction to make the building sustainable[129,130]. Managerial aspects of green buildings refer to integrated management of the wholebuilding life cycle stage [131]. The third is the relationship between occupant behavior and buildingperformance.167775827 25 2417 16 152 2020406080100120140160180LEED BREEAM WELL EDGE DGNB LBC HQE GBA/GBTool GM ESGB GGNumber of countriesFigure 5. Certified GBRS projects [71,73,108,109,111–113,115–128].5. Fundamental CharacteristicsThe fundamental characteristics of GBs stand for internal factors, including GB technologies (GBTs)implementation, building management, and occupant behavior. The term GBTs refers to technologiesintegrated into building design and construction to make the building sustainable [129,130]. Managerialaspects of green buildings refer to integrated management of the whole building life cycle stage [131].The third is the relationship between occupant behavior and building performance.5.1. Technologies ApplicationAdopting GB technologies can offer a range of significant environmental benefits, such as savingland and materials, increasing the efficiency of water and energy usage, and improving indoorenvironmental quality [13,85,130,132]. There are extensive studies on various aspects of GBTs indifferent contexts. Yin and Li developed a stochastic differential game that transfers GB technologiesfrom academic research institutes to building enterprises in the building enterprises-academic researchSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 13 of 29institutes collaborative innovation (BACI) system, which will promote GB technology transfer andrapid development of urban GBs [133]. Comparing the 49 green building evaluation standards, sixcategories of land use, energy conservation, water efficiency, material utilization, indoor environmentquality improvement, and construction management are common significant technologies implementedin green building construction.General land use measurements mainly solve three issues, how to use properly, how to saveefficiently, and how to improve effectively. Firstly, in the perspective of architects and landscapers,outdoor open space and green space for occupants’ activities, enough parking space for the increasingusage of cars, and outdoor microclimate design strategies to support natural ventilation and naturallighting for the buildings’ indoor environment are vital for the ‘use properly’ issue. Sharing publicfacilities is also a method to use land properly. Secondly, with the increasing requirement of space foroccupied because of increasing population and rapid urbanization, especially in China, for instance,one of the methods to save the land is setting a high plot ratio objective, which means high-rise buildingis increased. Limited land area is another reason that requires saving of land. For example, in Tokyo,people try to give multiple functions to limited building space, and design alterable space for variousrequirements. Thirdly, the ecological protection of construction sites is significantly important as well.Most of the GBRs have claimed that they try to keep the original ecological system of constructionsites, avoiding construction in wetland, habitat, etc.Building energy conservation measures include three aspects of buildings: envelope, airconditioning, and lighting. Generally, architects, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers,respectively, are responsible for these three parts. Aktacir, Büyükalaca, and Yilmaz (2010) evaluatedthe influence of thermal insulation on the building cooling load in Adana, which showed that both theinitial and the operating costs of the air-conditioning system were decreased considerably for threeevaluated insulation thicknesses [134]. Air conditioning contributes to maintaining thermal comfort,which accounts for a major share of energy consumption. Chua et al. reviewed technologies andstrategies for achieving better energy-efficient air conditioning, which can be divided into three aspects:novel cooling devices, innovative systems, and operational management and control [135]. The useof renewable energy technologies has been pivotal for achieving GB goals and certification [131,136].According to Chan’s research, the photovoltaic system not only generates electricity, but also reducesheat gain transmitted into the indoor environment through the building envelope by 13.59% to 38.78%in subtropical Hong Kong [137]. Passive design is believed to have big energy-saving potential.Oropeza-Perez and Østergaard (2014) investigated the energy-saving potential of natural ventilationand indicate that average savings can correspond to 54.4% of the electric cooling demand for 2008 inMexico [138]. A simulated model to evaluate life cycle GHG emissions of office building envelopes hasbeen developed in Australia, and that model can be used to evaluate the relationship between buildingenergy consumption and GHG emissions to achieve the “greenest” outcomes [139].Similar to energy aspects, water conservation is also vital in GB design due to the limitationof potable water by only 3% of the total earth’s surface water [140]. GB are sustainable buildingsdemanding the water conservation and preventing pollution and recycle treated water ensuringpotable water use. It can be divided into outdoor and indoor water use. Architects, landscapers, andengineers engaged in water supply and drainage engineering are responsible for this work in buildingconstruction process. Water efficiency refers to reducing the usage of water as well as minimizingwastewater. All the fixtures such as taps, toilets, showerheads, urinals, etc. should be efficient andbe checked periodically for leakage and for good operating conditions [141]. Rainwater harvestingis a cheap and simple technology that can save a lot of water if rain can be collected and treatedas potable water. The basic system consists of the collection, distribution, and storage stages. Aquantity of non-potable water for water closets, car-washing, and garden watering can come fromcollected and treated greywater passing through sand filters, or by electrocoagulation techniques.Some other biological and chemical treatments can be utilized as well. Rainwater management isto keep the rainwater stay in the construction site rather than allowing it to run off, which not onlySustainability 2019, 11, 5385 14 of 29benefit for rainwater harvesting but protecting the natural site hydrology conditions. Low-impactdevelopment (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) are widely used in rainwater management strategiesand techniques [142].Building materials affect the environment and the human body in all stages of their life cycleproduction, based on contamination and function [143,144]. Firstly, the evolution process of materialselection pays more attention to green and sustainable performance criteria, more than just quality,performance, aesthetics, and cost. Initiatives that have been taken and are being taken from theacademic and scientific field to mitigate the effects of climate change associated with the activityof the construction sector. For example, García et al. (2019) have developed more sustainableconstruction systems, through the replacement of conventional concrete or steel construction elementswith timber elements [145]. There are simple and rapid sustainability assessment models specificto timber structures and buildings, whose objective is to design and project timber buildings in themost sustainable way possible, with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact that the constructionsector activity has in the environment [146]. Secondly, storage and collection of recyclables materialis another important consideration in GB construction. Furthermore, building product disclosureand optimization is a major content in the credit category of Material and Resource. However, it is abig challenge for many other countries because of the complex supply chain management process ofbuilding products.Indoor environment quality is an important variable for GB performance, and its improvementcontributes dramatically to GBs and a sustainable environment [147]. Most researchers believe thecertified GBs perform better than conventional buildings in terms of IEQ and energy use [148–150].There are four main variables highlighted in GBRSs to improve IEQ: thermal quality, acoustic quality,visual quality, and indoor air quality (IAQ) [151–153]. Lin et al. found the satisfaction of users incertified GBs is higher than conventional buildings in terms of thermal comfort and IAQ [154]. The viewto the outside, aesthetic appearance, less disturbance from heating, ventilation, and air-conditioningnoise, and other factors have better outcomes as well [155].5.2. ConstructionConstruction waste minimization (CWM) is a vital aspect of GBs construction. Lu et al. (2018)has ascertained the effects of GBs on CMW and identified the causes leading to the ascertained effectsusing quantitative “big data” from government agencies [156]. Building information modeling (BIM)is becoming the central way to coordinate project design and construction activities. EI-Diraby, Krijnen,and Papagelis (2017) built an online system that enables a data-driven approach to building planning,construction, and maintenance, which allows all the stakeholders to comment and share views [157].Lu et al. (2017) provided a “green BIM triangle” classification to establish an up-to-date synthesis onthe nexus between BIM and GBs, indicating that the relationship needs to be understood from threedimensions: project stage, green attributes, and BIM attributes [158].5.3. Building ManagementThe managerial aspects of GBs should be integrated into the whole building life cycle, includingplanning, design, construction, operation, and demolition. Initially, during the planning phase of theproject, the research and analysis related to energy and water use should be completed. Meanwhile,it should conduct effective and rational discussions about possible integrated design opportunities.Additionally, the project owner can be invited into the main project team workshop to determine thebudget, schedule, functional planning requirements, scope, quality, performance, and desired projectobjectives of the occupants. In the design and construction phase, project team members look forsynergies between systems and components. This combination of advantages can help the buildingachieve a high level of performance, comfort, and environmental benefits [142]. Constantly monitoringand studying building performance in the operation phase is just as important as it is in the designand construction phase [159]. Feedback mechanisms determine whether or not performance goals areSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 15 of 29being achieved. To achieve those goals, it is critical to provide operational performance information tobuilding operations staff so they can take corrective action when targets are not met. Implementationof an environmental management system (EMS) in the operation phase contributes to a 90% energysaving and 70% water saving, reduces 63% of waste, and lowers accident rates by 20% and 80% ofquality complaints from occupants [160]. Management in POE to find out causes of performance gapbetween the design prediction and actual consumption. The actual performances always worse thanthe predicted. For example, glass box buildings are notoriously uncomfortable regardless of their verylarge, sophisticated, expensive, and maintenance-intensive system. Architectural designers do notalways recognize the high probability of thermal discomfort in glass buildings in a hot climate and itoften results in higher energy consumption and running costs for the business or to the owner.5.4. Occupant BehaviorAlong with GB development and building energy and environmental improvements, peopleare paying increasing attention to the relationship between people and buildings. The concepts anddisciplines of a healthy building, post-occupancy evaluation (POE) [161], human factors (ergonomics),and architectural psychology have gradually become the focus of research. Organizational commercialbuildings generally adopt centralized control of the electrical equipment. Occupant behavior has littleinfluence on building performance. However, for individual residential or office buildings, occupantbehavior has a very big impact on architectural performance. Barbosa and Azar give a concepthuman-in-the-loop approach, which means occupants’ comfort and well-being are essential metrics inevaluating building performance, not only energy conservation. Green buildings are believed to beassociated with high workplace satisfaction and working productively and creatively [162]. Ries et al.found a 25% growth of productivity when occupants moved from conventional building to a GB [163].Furthermore, occupants assigned higher acceptance and satisfaction to an indoor environment in acertified GBs compared to conventional buildings [164]. In the operation phase, building performancemainly depends on the occupants, who will help achieve the initial ecological objectives by correctlyusing devices through a better understanding of GBs.6. Discussion6.1. Barriers and Challenges6.1.1. Challenges in Various CountriesThere are three main problems facing GB development in the United States. First, although thegovernment has relatively complete policy support, and the rating systems are widely used in the world,the industry and the public remain doubtful. Some people believe that GBs have not achieved what itpromised. These promises include realizing energy conservation. LEED-certified commercial buildingsdo not display significant primary energy savings over comparable non-LEED buildings on average,not even showing a reduction in GHG emission associated with building operation [165]. Second, theenthusiasm of architects and designers are not high because most of the policy and economical supportis for developers. Architects, as the initial participants and designers of architectural construction,directly determine the basic characteristics and performance of the building. Designers’ personalinterests, such as capital benefit, enthusiasm for GB application, or social responsibility as a promoterof GB for public is vital for GB implementation. Some architects only design GBs according to thestandards but lack understanding of the connotation of GBs and the analysis and application ofappropriate technologies. Third, there is a substantial problem in how to persuade the users to buy aGB with extra expenses due to certification fees and other additional active technologies expenses.In the UK, the situation is better than in America. As the first country to use the Green BuildingRating System, the UK has formed awareness in ethics for the public to build sustainably andenvironmentally-friendly. However, poor GB design projects still exist due to unreasonable design,Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 16 of 29which causes higher energy consumption than non-certified buildings. Improving architects anddesigners understanding of the connotation of GBs and the analysis ability on the application ofappropriate technologies is significantly important. Europe has presented many concepts relatedto GB, such as nearly zero energy building (NZEB), and carbon-neutral building (CNB), to addressclimate change. Great challenges will be accompanied by the realization of the goals. For example,disconnection between developing innovative technologies for GBs and the lack of utilization, lackof understanding of what GBs, NZEB, or CNB means in legislation for the actual building process,and energy targets for green retrofitting of existing building, especially of culture and historicallysignificant buildings, etc., are major challenges Europe is facing.Japan’s GB projects realized many achievements and essentially met its original targets. However,the requirement that CASBEE AP need to hold the first-class architect license will limit the popularityof the GB concept to stakeholders. Moreover, how to interact with end-users and persuade them torecognize the value and real benefits of GBs is significant in the continued development of GB becauseend-users have a limited understanding of high GB technologies or new equipment to use properly.In China, relative to the constant introduction of various laws, regulations, standards, and norms,the implementation of incentive policies lags. The concentration of GBs is not spread evenly across thedifferent provinces because of the geographic variables, economy-related variables, and public policiesassociated with GBs [36]. China has imposed extensive mandatory policies on the promotion of GBstechnologies recently, but some of them have not yet reached mature levels, such as prefabricatedbuildings, which are now heavily promoted to save materials. The public still has questions aboutthe technology. Mandatory widespread adoption could pose potential problems. In addition topolicy and economic support, it is more important to foster a sense of responsibility for sustainabledevelopment. It is the responsibility of every stakeholder to develop green buildings, not just to meetpolicy requirements, obtain financial support, or obtain a certification label.6.1.2. Barriers of GB DevelopmentLimitation of standards is one of the serious barriers in the external factor of GB development.Such limitations can be divided into three categories: evaluation objects restriction, inapplicability ofevaluation methods, and limited professionalism of users. Although lots of GBRSs have developedsub-evaluations for different phases, scales, and types, the standard development cannot keep pacewith construction development. The corresponding evaluation criteria cannot be found for manybuildings. For instance, the Evaluation Standard for Green Industrial Building (GB/T50878-2013)(ESGIB) was launched in 2014 in China for assessing all industrial building types, such as heavyindustry, light industry, and so on. However, modern logistics, science and technology research,e-commerce, etc. also belong to the industrial building scale. In the functional operation of these kindsof industrial buildings, no specific production process is given. However, the green industrial buildingstandard identifies many indicators related to parameters of the production process. These indicatorsare not suitable for the industrial building mentioned above. Comparing with the similar functions ofindustrial buildings is an optional method for evaluating the sustainable level of the building, butthe lack of data and the poor comparability of the chosen industries lead to an unreliable evaluationresult. It is critical to develop a standard system as soon as possible that suits the different buildingtypes, including general plant and scientific research and development buildings, so GB technologypromotion and evaluation on industrial construction can be standardized.Table 2 illustrates that 16 GBRSs have their own certified AP who can advise on the constructionprocess. These certified experts must undergo rigorous screening, training, and testing before theycan be certified to participate in the program. However, the remaining 31 GBRSs have no relevantofficial certification process, which makes it difficult to guarantee the professional degree of GBengineers or consultants, resulting in the inability of the project to achieve sustainable success withhigh efficiency. On the other hand, CASBEE has the most rigorous vetting of certification experts. Thiseffectively guarantees the green technology quality of the project but limits the way other engineersSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 17 of 29want to participate. It will also hinder the promotion and popularization of standards, and even limitsoverseas promotion.As for the third part of the external factor of GB development, economic obstacles are alsosignificant. Transaction costs are claimed to affect the effectiveness of GBs policy significantly [166].Marker et al. suggested that the additional costs of GB certification consultants and paperwork are themain barriers of GB development [167]. Sometimes designers and developers are unwilling to usenew technologies because they use standard accounting procedures that are unable to recognize thefinancial advantages.The dissemination of GBs and adaptation of GB technologies are being hindered because ofsome barriers, such as greater complexity, limited understanding of sustainability, and high cost [168].Moreover, some problems have already been revealed in the GB market. Newsham found thatLEED-certified buildings consume 18% to 39% less energy per floor area than their conventionalcounterparts on average, which is based on the comparison of 100 LEED commercial and institutionalbuildings to the energy use of the general American commercial buildings. Nevertheless, 28% to 35%of LEED-certified buildings are using more energy than their conventional counterparts [66]. Of theLEED-certified buildings, 25% cannot save as much energy as predicted in the design process [169].USGBC has pointed out that the construction method of GBs is not mature enough, and the use of newGB technologies may cause potential risk. The building performance gap between design predictionand actual consumption is also required to be considered carefully. The building industry should takeup these new challenges facing risk management [170].Limitation of knowledge refers to lack of understanding about the concept of GBs used bythose who can incorporate GB concepts into a building life cycle, including owners, architects,architectural engineers, construction managers, building operators, occupants, and other stakeholders.The significance of knowledge centers around three main aspects: The advantages of GBs, knowledge ofexisting green technologies, and cognition of how to use GBs technologies appropriately and efficiently.First, the advantages of GBs is basic knowledge stakeholders need, otherwise, they will have noincentive to implement GBs [171–173]. Liu et al. believe elements like subjective knowledge, social trustin the organizations responsible, perceived usefulness, and the attitude of users towards green-certifiedbuildings are among the vital psychological determinants of intention to adopt green-certifiedbuilding [174]. Darko and Chan evaluated GBT adoption in developing countries and concluded thatpublicity through media and educational and training programs for developers, constructors, andpolicymakers are the top two strategies to promote GBT adoption [175]. Second, in terms of knowledgeof existing green technologies, sometimes people recognize the necessity to implement GBs but lackthe knowledge of which technologies are available to do that. Tsantopoulos et al.(2018) reported on thepublic perceptions and attitudes toward green roofs, vertical trellises, or gardens, and showed thatmost citizens are willing to improve aesthetics with no awareness of the environmental benefits [176].Hobman and Frederiks (2014) conducted a large national survey with over 900 Australian energyconsumers who had not to subscribed to the National GreenPower Programme and concluded thatone of the main reasons was limited knowledge, awareness, and availability of the green electricityprogram [177]. Additionally, those who might finance the construction may fail to recognize the benefitsof integration, or may mistakenly assume that existing building methods are already effective andtherefore do not seem to require new technology. Third, the cognition of how to use GB technologiesappropriately and efficiently is lacking. Incorrect use of technology not only precludes positive results,it also may bring a negative impact and crisis. There are several technologies implemented in GBsconstruction by mistake. For example, some scholars questioned whether external insulation is requiredin temperate and subtropical regions. There is a temperature difference between the two sides of thebuilding walls, so heat preservation materials should be added to prevent the temperature differencefrom causing heat transfer to save energy. However, in a warm region, where there may only be asmall temperature difference between the two sides of the building, insulation will be required less, orno insulation may be needed at all. The outdoor temperature in a warm region may often be in a rangeSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 18 of 29between 18 ◦C~25 ◦C—a comfort zone. However, as the sun shines through the window, the housebecomes very hot, and the lower U-value of building envelop is, the less heat will be able to escape (ifthe house is not well-ventilated naturally). Instead, the air conditioner needs to be turned on to coolthe house, which will lead to extra energy consumption.6.2. Future Trends and TendenciesTo realize the scale-up and implementation of GBs, a mountain of further effort is still necessary.According to the above review and analysis, GB development can be improved in two respects. First,from the policy and incentive side. It still requires clear and multiple policy support for the stakeholdersand broad range of building types. In a word, GBs require not only environmental innovation but alsoinstitutional innovation. Second, from the economic side, cost-benefits are the most effective and directdrivers for successful GB implementation. In addition to cost savings from improved energy efficiency,the potential value added to the property should be investigated in future research. Additional costsof GB certification consultants and paperwork should receive more government support. Third,the evaluation content and application mode of GB evaluation standards need to be more rigorousand standardized. International standards should take into account the local climate and culture.The project should not adopt inappropriate technology or adopt high and new technology withoutconsidering the economic impacts and should not blindly pursue multiple certifications. Fourth, socialresponsibility or ethic consideration of individual and public need to be improved urgently which canfundamentally promote the development of GB.The internal factors consist of the technology, management, and occupants. First, the technologyfield related to GBs is quite broad, encompassing land, energy, water resources, materials, buildingstructure, indoor environment to construction technology, and more. Every aspect of technologydevelopment is crucial to GB development. This requires the joint efforts and cooperation of all relevanttechnical personnel and researchers, as well as constantly upgraded related technologies, so as toachieve the maximum benefit of technical solutions and meet the evolution of the end users’ motivationand the surrounding environment. The well-developed GB technology is not only the study of a singletechnology but also the ability to integrate multiple technologies and enable various stakeholders tocontinually participate in the process of GB construction. Second, based on the implementation ofmultiple technologies, an integrated management methodology is necessary to handle all aspects ofGBs. Currently, this role is played by GB consultants, most of whom are certified professionals. It isexpected that all stakeholders can attain basic knowledge that enables them to improve the efficiencyand flexibility of management systems. Third, from the occupants’ perspective, enhancing theirfeedback is essential, because they directly impact the successful implementation of GBs. Therefore,knowledge of GBs is extremely important not only for engineers but also for occupants. In the operationphase, successful building performance mainly depends on occupants who contribute to achievingthe initial ecological objective by correctly using devices because they have a better understanding ofGBs. In addition, it is critical to seriously study occupants’ behavior, to help human-oriented designand realize a healthier building environment. Providing training and education in using GBTs, and todevelop a better awareness of local environmental issues is expected in the future.7. ConclusionsThis paper reports on a comprehensive survey of the historical and current development of GBworldwide. The concept of GB evolves as a holistic approach to deal with various problems caused bythe construction industry. Green building is subject to continuous development of new technologies,integrated management of building operation, consistent standards of certification systems, and properadjustment of policies, all of which have a significant impact on GB development. The method appliedin this paper was to group the impact factor into two aspects: (1) external factors, including policysupport, economic benefits, and certification schemes of GBs; and (2) the internal factors, associatedwith the development and application of GB technology, the level of building management, and howSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 19 of 29users interact with the GB technology. Based on the external and internal factors, this paper analyzesGB development barriers and challenges.The development status of GBs in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, China,and some other countries are presented in this paper. The United States, the United Kingdom, Europe,and some Western countries have already entered into a mature period. The focus of their recent workis on the application of intelligent GB technologies that ensures smart buildings or ‘healthy’ buildingswhich proposed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) [178], and consequently addressesthe economic and social challenges caused by unmatched technologies and limited knowledge. Japanhas a wide range of relevant laws, regulations, and policies, but keeps updating them based ondevelopment. This paper has found that GBs in China have significant implications; as a nationalstrategy, the development of GB is leading the construction field on the road of sustainable development.However, in China, there is a regional imbalance of GB development because the concentration ofGBs and economic strength varies across its different provinces. In the process of promoting theimplementation of GBs, Eastern counties, such as Japan and China, have mainly developed governmentprograms. In contrast, Western countries such as the United States have adopted federal-, state-,and local-level zoning regulations and employ building standards developed by non-governmentorganizations. Although each country has made many achievements in the development of GB, thispaper also reveals that a common problem is the lack of a systematic social education scheme that canprovide a clear understanding about the concept of GB to those who can incorporate it into a buildinglife cycle.The economy of GBs is the basic driving force and decision-making benchmark of its development.The ongoing debate over the economics of GBs seems to be where the potential financial saving can bemade—in the initial investment in GBs, later operation costs, or reduced resource use. All of thesecould depend on individual cases. Surely this remains one of the interesting areas for further studies.Green Building Rating Systems are developed and applied by most countries all over the world as aguideline to achieve sustainable building construction goals. This paper summarizes 47 certificationstandards related to GBs in the world. LEED in the United States and BREEAM in the United Kingdomhave the largest market shares. The certification expert mechanism guarantees the professional qualityof consultants and project quality, but only in 16 certification standards. Other standards need to beenhanced in this regard. The importance of economic aspects of GBs was emphasized in much of theliterature, but detailed analyses are limited.This extensive survey suggests that most GB studies focus on certification standard analysisand comparison, technologies solutions in terms of energy performance, water efficiency, and indoorenvironmental quality. This paper provides useful recommendations from the technologies side,management side, and occupants side, finding that there is low participation among stakeholders,especially occupants participating in the development of GB in many countries. Mismatchingtechnologies utilization due to lack of knowledge requires more consideration in future research. Thispaper proposes involving integrated management and exploring occupants’ behavior and feedback toimprove GB efficiency. Meanwhile, providing training and education in using GB technologies foroccupants, as well as raising the awareness of local environmental issues, are expected in the future.Author Contributions: Conceptualization, Y.Z. and H.W.; methodology, Y.Z.; validation, W.G., and F.W.; formalanalysis, Y.Z. and H.W.; investigation, Y.Z.; resources, Y.Z. and H.W.; writing—original draft preparation, Y.Z.;writing—review and editing, W.G., F.W., N.Z., D.M.K., and X.Y.; visualization, Y.Z.; supervision, W.G.; projectadministration, Y.Z.Funding: This research was funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), grant number 17K06719.Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.Sustainability 2019, 11, 5385 20 of 29Appendix ATable A1. Green Building Rating Systems (GBRSs) list in various countries.No. Time Issued Standard Countries Leading Organization Full Name1 1990 BREEAM United Kingdom Building Research Establishment Ltd. (BRE) Assessment Method Building Research Establishment’s Environmental2 1993 BEPAC Canada The University of British Columbia Building Environmental Performance Assessment Criteria3 1998 LEED United States U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design4 2002 PromisE Finland VTT Technical Research Station The Finnish Environmental Assessment and ClassificationSystem5 2010 BEAM Plus Hong Kong Hong Kong Green Building Council and the BEAM Society Limited Built Environmental Assessment Method6 1997 EcoEffect Sweden The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and the University ofGavle ——7 1998 GBA/GBTool Canada International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment The Green Building Assessment (GBA)8 1999 NABERS/ABGR Australia The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) National Australian Built Environment RatingSystem/Australian Building Greenhouse Rating system9 1999 EEWH China (Taiwan) National Council for Sustainable Development under the Ministry ofthe Interior (MOI) Green Building Labeling System10 1999 Eco-Quantum Netherlands IVAM ——11 2000 GG Canada ECD Energy and Environment Canada Green Globes12 2000 BEAT Denmark Danish Building Research Institute (SBI) Building Evaluation Assessment Tool13 2000 Ecoprofil Norway Norwegian Building Research Institute (SINTEF Byggforsk) Ökoprofil14 2001 CASBEE Japan Japan Sustainable Building Consortium (JSBC) Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency15 2002 CEPAS Hong Kong Building Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Regionof the People’s Republic of ChinaComprehensive Environmental Performance AssessmentScheme16 2002 KGBC Korea Korea Green Building Council Korea Green Building Certification System17 2003 GS Australia Green Building Council Australia Green Star18 2003 TGBRS India The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Teri Green Building Rating System19 2004 GRIHA India The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment20 2005 HQE France Cerway Haute Qualite Environment21 2005 Si-5281 Israel Standard Institute of Israel Israel Standard 5281: Building with Reduced EnvironmentalImpact22 2005 GM Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark23 2006 LBC America International Living Future Institute Living Building Challenge24 2006 GPR America Built It Green GreenPint Rated25 2006 ASGB China Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of People’sRepublic of China Assessment Standard for Green Building26 2006 DGNB Germany The German Sustainable Building Council (Non-profit organization) Deutscbe Gesellschaft Fur Nachhaltiges Bauen27 2006 CSH United Kingdom Department for Communities and Local Government Code for Sustainable Homes28 2007 EPRS Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council GBI Estidama Pearl Rating SystemSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 21 of 29Table A1. Cont.No. Time Issued Standard Countries Leading Organization Full Name30 2007 SICES Mexico The Mexico Green Building Council (MGBC) Sustainable Building Rating Tool Edificación Sustentable /Sistema de Calificación de31 2008 NGBS America National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Standard32 2008 AQUA-HQE Brasil Vanzolini Foundation at the Polytechnic University of Sao Paulo Alta Qualidade Ambientale33 2008 LiderA Portugal Manuel Duate Pinheiro, Ph.D. The Sistema de Acaliacao da Sustentabilidade (CertificationSystem of Environmentally Sustainable Construction)34 2009 ITACA Protocal ItalyInstitute for Innovation, Procurement Transparency andCompatibility Environmental-National Association of Regions andAutonomous Provinces (ITACA)Protocollo Itaca35 2009 GBI Malaysia Architectural Association of Malaysia(PAM) Green Building Index36 2009 BERDE Philippine Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence37 2009 GSAS Qatar Gulf Organization for Research & Development Global Sustainability Assessment System38 2009 VERDE Spain Green Building Council España (GBCE) Herramienta VERDE39 2010 GPRS Egypt Egypt Green Building Council The Green Pyramid Rating System Levels40 2010 LOTUS Vietnam Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) ——41 2010 GREENSHIP Indonesia Green Building Council Indonesia ——42 2010 TREES Thailand Thai Green Building Institute Thai’s Rating of Energy and Environmental Sustainability43 2010 BNB GERMANY the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community Assessment System for Sustainable Building44 2012 ARZ BRS Lebanon Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC) ARZ Building Rating System45 2013 IGBC India Indian Green Building Council Indian Green Building Council Rating system46 2014 EDGE America International Finance Corporation -World bank group Green Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE)47 2014 WELL America The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) ——48 2017 CASA Colombia Colombia Consejo Colombiano de Construccion Sostenibe (CCCS) ——49 2018 CEDBIK-Konut Turkey Turkey Green Building Council Cevre Dostu Yesil Binalar DernegiSustainability 2019, 11, 5385 22 of 29References1. 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