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22/06/2016

London third-best global city for green buildings

Words: Laura Edgar
The City of London

Paris, Singapore and London are the top three performing cities in the world for their integration of green buildings in the city, according to a recent white paper.

The white paper, Top 10 Cities For Global Green Buildings, by market strategist Solidance, said a lack of city-wide performance goals is preventing London from become the global leader in green buildings.

When evaluating the cities on the number of green building and the certification systems in use, Singapore, London and Paris were identified as the top scorers, says the research.

“These three top cities are advanced in the adoption of new and existing green buildings, and experience a high level of green building activity,” says the white paper.

It notes that although Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai are behind in many green building indicators, these cities are among the most recent joiners to the green building movement.

The top 10 cities for green buildings:

  • Paris
  • Singapore
  • London
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Hong Kong
  • New York
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • Shanghai

Paris and Singapore excelled in all four assessment categories: city-wide green building landscape; green building efficiency and performance; green building policies and targets; and green city culture and environment. Both cities ranked in the top five in each category.

London, says the white paper, benefits from “high yield of green buildings in the city, which can be linked to the fact that the United Kingdom was the first country ever to introduce a green building certification system”, for example, BREAAM.

London and Paris scored highly in the absolute number of green buildings and on the green buildings as a percentage of total number of buildings’ metrics. London scored 68 per cent while Paris score 64 per cent.

But London’s energy consumption is higher than that of Paris. Its buildings are using 101,228 gigawatts compared with 15,050 gigawatts in the French capital.

The white paper notes public bodies are coordinating with the private sector to reduce London’s carbon dioxide emissions, an initiative that is encouraged by the Green Organisations Programme.

Additionally, the government has set a national target that requires all new homes built from 2016 and all new non-domestic buildings from 2019 to be carbon-zero.

Developers of new buildings also have to comply with the mayor’s energy policies.

While the London Green Fund has set up an Urban Development Fund worth $50 million for investment in energy efficient products, the passing of the Housing and Planning Act sees the scrapping of a zero-carbon homes commitment.

The report concludes by saying that there is no “right approach” to green buildings and every city “must adjust its strategy based on where in it sustainability journey each city finds itself”.

“In the green building race, the end-result and big picture of living in sustainable, efficient and low-consumption cities is more important than how many buildings can be labelled as 'green'."

Top 10 Cities For Global Green Buildings can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock

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