In Europe, in the 18th and 19th centuries, new inventions such as steam-powered machines gave the industry the ability to feed more people from the same amount of land and led to population growth cities and increased job opportunities across different industrial sectors.
Efforts to transform the destruction caused by the Second World War into recovery and growth have been the root cause of uncontrolled expansion. This uncontrolled expansion has also created a waste problem. While these waste accumulations did not create problems in society before, they have grown over time and have reached a level that now threatens the entire world ecosystem.
With the technological development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, information and communication infrastructure has spread to wide geographical areas. The fact that data and information access have become independent from time and space through mobile communication technologies has revealed the extent to which human beings have destroyed the ecosystem. This unfortunate development has mobilized Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on issues such as air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and radioactive pollution, and world leaders have made agreements such as the Montreal Protocol, Kyoto Protocol, and Stockholm Convention to raise awareness and develop jointly agreed solutions. Today, environmental sensitivity has increased and eco-friendly ecological buildings called “green buildings” have emerged in the building industry. Green buildings are shaped by designs that aim to use less energy and water and reduce the impact of the materials used on environmental life-cycle. Green buildings have undoubtedly been a critical part of the response to the challenges posed by global warming and climate change reaching a critical level. However, the benefits provided by green buildings need to be controlled by a mechanism, and therefore the need for certification systems, which is the focus of this article.
Green buildings are no longer a luxury but a necessity because of their impact on human health and the wider environment. As green buildings need to meet certain standards to provide benefits in environmental, social, and economic terms, systems of certification systems have emerged to verify whether certain buildings meet green credentials. Green building qualifications are codified as the basis for green building certification programs, with environmental issues divided into appropriate categories (Hou and Wu 2021, Sartori et al 2021). Certification systems control the parameters in the construction process starting from the design phase of the buildings, and determine the green rate for the buildings by determining scores for each parameter. Different countries use different certification systems. Many green building rating systems or instruments (GBRS) have been developed accordingly to evaluate and certify green buildings. The most widely used certification systems are BREEAM in the UK, LEED in the USA, CASBEE in Japan, and Green Star Certification system in Australia (Olubunmi et al 2016, Shan and Hwang 2018, He at al 2018). Countries that do not have their own certification system take the certification systems of other countries and adapt them.
Problems such as global warming, depletion of natural resources and climate change have put countries in a difficult situation of having to address multiple challenges. In this context, green buildings that produce their own energy, have wastewater management, are sustainable, comfortable, and efficient buildings have gained further prominence. Many countries use different green building certification systems to evaluate green buildings. Yet there is no national certification system in Turkey. Therefore, buildings are evaluated using foreign certification systems, and this does not always produce context-relevant results for Turkey. In this regard, it has become crucial to a create a national certification system for Turkey.
This paper aims to fill the research gap by answering the following research questions:
What are the advantages of green building technology?
How effective is land selection in green buildings?
What should be the criteria to be considered while choosing the land in the areas where green buildings will be built?
How effective are regional changes in the green building certification system?
The aim of this study is to identify the criteria under the title ‘land management’, being one of the most important sub-criteria of green building certification systems, which has a crucial importance across multiple certification systems in foreign jurisdictions and started to gain importance in Turkey. The study also aims to determine the weights of these criteria.
Land management is defined as the decision-making process of existing land management policies supporting the increasing population with the efficient use of resources, protecting the environment, creating livable settlements by developing social and technical infrastructure areas, protecting drainage basins and wetlands, providing transportation similar to the economic incomes of the immovable property market, and supporting state services supplied with taxes and fees (Dale and Mclaughlin 1988, Ülger 2010).
One of the most important issues in green building projects is land selection. Operations such as land use, planning, evaluation, preparation of zoning plans, land and estate arrangements are important stages of the project. In studies conducted in many parts of the world, studies such as the use of materials for green building projects, utilization of renewable energy systems, management of waste materials have been performed, but not much attention has been paid to land management. This study discusses the title ‘land management’ and proposes a potential land management certification system to be created for Turkey. Sub-criteria for the prosed certification system are also identified, and the weights of these criteria are to be determined after the survey. Additionally, the benefits of green buildings and green building certification systems for both the economy and the people are set out and the necessity of establishing a national certification system is re-emphasized.
Our world has existed in a balance of cycles decorated with incredible details for billions of years. Some of these equilibrium states have declined to alarming levels over the past 30 years. As a result, this situation causes visible climatic changes, seasonal changes and therefore the deterioration of nature. Global greenhouse gas emissions have caused a number of problems, global warming and energy supply shortages, thus leading to increased awareness around the world for green and sustainable development. As a result, this worrying situation has led to the popularity of the concept of sustainability, which academics and scientists from almost all fields have been working on and seeking solutions for several decades (Kaya 2021, Costanza and Patten 1995, Ignatius et al 2016, Jorgenson et al 2019, Shafique et al 2018).
While the population of people living in urban settings constituted 10% of the total world population just after the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, it is over 50% today. The increase in migration from villages to cities and the ensuing rapid, inadequate, and substandard structures caused by this migration have unfortunately caused many environmental problems. These problems, such as the decrease in natural energy sources, the degradation of the ecological balance, and particularly global warming (which stands out especially with recent various natural disasters), and environmental pollution have become current issues in many countries around the world and present the biggest problems of a constantly and rapidly changing world. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction has recently concluded that cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to drought, floods, thermal stress, extreme precipitation events and other natural disasters (McPhillips et al 2018).
Due to the growth in the world population and industrialization along with technological advancement and globalization, the need for natural resources and energy has increased, and that brought along the demand for renewable energy resources. In this context, in order to deliver a more livable and healthier world to future generations, the world has started to prioritize the concept of sustainability (Saka 2011).
Sustainability is an environmentalist world view that argues that regional development should be realized by protecting balance of nature, and that environmental values and natural resources should not be used extravagantly but through more rational methods that consider the benefits to present and future generations while also aiming to ensure economic development (Keleş 1998).
In another respect, sustainability is perceived mainly as the ability to sustain the functions, processes, and productivity of ecological systems and ecology in the future (Pamuk and Kuruoğlu 2016).
Sustainability ensures social and intergenerational equality as well as enhancing the quality of life and economic efficiency. It maintains and increases environmental quality, combines disaster elasticity and impact reduction conceptions, and exhibit a participatory and reconciliatory approach in the decision- making process (Akgül 2010, Mileti 1999). In terms of environmental dimension, it inspires the protection of ecology and the environment. Socially it focuses on human needs and comfort, while economically it promotes the efficient use of monetary resources and strives for long-term benefits (Komeily and Srinivasan 2015, Lazar and Chithra 2021).
Taking into account the concept of energy consumption, which has been a necessity since the beginning of humanity, with the concept of sustainability, will provide more sensitivity in the context of protecting energy resources, using them efficiently, and considering the needs of future generations (Yılmaz, 2019).
The concept of sustainability has become an often-discussed concept and today is used along with many related jargons such as sustainable cities, sustainable architecture, the sustainability of wetlands, and sustainable agriculture.
The continuous urbanization process of developing countries and the development of the building construction industry around the world have led to an increase in global energy consumption and thus the deterioration of the natural balance. This situation has increased the interest of the public and sustainable and healthy development has become even more important (Cordero et al 2019, Li et al 2019a, Berardi 2017). The vital crisis that plays an important role in disruption of all these balances known as global warming is mainly due to the excessive increase in the amount of CO2 gas in nature. While the production processes are directly effective in the formation of this gas, the amounts released in the energy production used in these production processes should also be taken into account indirectly. Looking at the situation from both sides, the construction sector alone has the largest share in global energy use with %36 and global CO2 gas emissions with %39 (He et al 2018, URL-1, Sartori et al 2021, Doan et al 2017). The construction industry is the main consumer of natural resources. It is the source of many problems in terms of environmental and ecological stability (Thakur et al 2018, Shan et al 2020). This situation has made green buildings one of the main models of the construction industry (Wang et al 2021, Liao and Li 2022).
Green buildings emerged out of a global response that resulted from the increasing carbon footprint of people due to global climate change (URL-1). Green buildings, which are high-tech immovables that are sensitive to the effects of buildings on the environment and human health, are those that utilize waste water, renewable energy sources, daylight, have effective heat insulation, and produce the energy needed to sustain themselves. For green buildings to be successful, the location (orientation), design, material selection, construction, operation, maintenance, transportation and reuse of buildings should be considered carefully (Yudelson 2008).
According to WorldGBC, a green building is a building that products positive impacts throughout the entire lifecycle of design, construction and operation, while reducing negative impacts on the climate and natural environment (URL-2). Recently, the ecological environment has become more important to people. Buildings increasingly incorporate environmental protection and sustainability (Meng et al 2021). In addition to green buildings providing the integration of people with nature, they also are built to protect the health of the people living in them, to increase the productivity of workers, to use natural resources efficiently, and to minimize environmental damage. In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy need to be used so that buildings can generate their own energy. Additionally, buildings should be designed to benefit from daylight as much as possible and they should have an effective heat insulation. An efficient solid waste management system also needs to be created, alongside use of local materials and the need to obtain an environment-friendly appearance (URL-3). Green building not only focuses on energy saving and emission reduction performance, such as increasing energy and water efficiency, improving indoor air quality and reducing environmental pollution, but also focuses on economic and social sustainable development. The green building industry has played very important role in the green development of the global economy while attracting the attention of the government and experts (Wang et al 2021, Chan et al 2017, Lopez-Behar et al 2019, Shen et al 2017). To improve the sustainability of the construction industry, green buildings have been recognized as a valid and correct step. It has also been widely accepted by governments (Shen et al 2017, Li et al 2021). Governments around the world have initiated a series of policies to promote the development of green buildings throughout society (Meng et al 2021, Shan et al 2020). Research shows that the interest and importance in green buildings has increased rapidly in many countries and some developed countries such as the USA, England, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Italy have taken important steps in this regard (Darko and Chan 2016, Rajabi et al 2021).
Even though green building, high performance building or sustainable building may seem to mean the same thing, they don’t quite mean the same thing. They are sharply different from each other. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate these subtle differences. The concept of sustainable building is more comprehensive than any other. On the other hand, every model defined except sustainable structure has focused on different points. In general, the energetic quality of the building is handled by all concepts. The green building concept cares about the health and comfort of the users and the use of natural resources during the construction process. High-performance building focuses on the performative aspects of structures such as thermal, acoustics and lighting, which directly affects the health, comfort and productivity of users. Finally, sustainable building constitutes the most comprehensive concept, incorporating the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development (Kaya 2021).
While green buildings create healthy and comfortable buildings for people, they have to be shaped according to the needs of countries. Since the growth levels and geographical conditions of the countries are different, they are designed by considering each country's priorities (Işıldar and Gökbayrak 2018). For example, green buildings in China are designed to reduce pollution throughout the entire life cycle as the main importance, while maintaining resources such as energy, soil, water, and materials (Ding et al 2018). Especially in recent years, increasing air pollution and global warming have led to a rapid increase in green building construction. For example, in 2015, worldwide a total of 16 national or regional overtemperature records were broken, including in Venezuela, Germany, Hong Kong, and Indonesia (URL-4, Houghton and Castillo-Salgado 2020). In the same year, 3,275 people died in France due to heatwaves, while this number was recorded as 2,248 in India (URL-5). This led to the conclusion that the world serious steps must be taken, and the importance of green building has increased further.
Green buildings are costly to maintain from construction to demolition and most of costs lie in the design and construction stages (Olubunmi et al, 2016). The design for new buildings should be optimized to realize green buildings. The design process can be complex and involve many design variables as well as multiple and conflicting objectives in terms of lifecycle costs, energy consumption and user satisfaction (Zhang et al 2019). Despite these green buildings provide many environmental, economic, and social benefits. Some of the main benefits of green buildings are as follows (Kubba 2010, URL-6):
Protect the ecosystem,
Reduce the emitting of carbon dioxide caused by buildings,
Minimize the environmental damage that occurs during the construction phase,
Reduce operating expenses,
Ensure the use and development of renewable energy,
Utilize waste produced by excavation,
Collect and use rain water through green roof application,
Benefit from natural light,
Economize energy consumption,
Reduce heating and cooling costs with insulation systems,
Increase the value of the building,
Offer users a healthier and more efficient environment, and
Add value to urban living spaces.
Green Building Certification Systems
Recently, the effect of implementing an application that addresses all pillars has come to the fore in order to implement sustainability in a healthy way and achieve successful results (Ameen et al 2015).
Conceptualizing the powerful impact of change and transformation on the sustainability of the world, construction industry leaders have launched different initiatives such as building code changes and Green Building Councils. GBCs, whose aim is to motivate sector stakeholders to produce buildings with higher performance than required by regulations, played an active role in the emergence and dissemination of green building certification systems in this pursuit (Ade and Rehm 2019a).
GBCCs, which started to emerge around the world from the beginning of the 90s, were adopted by the construction industry in a short time. As a result, this situation has not escaped the attention of researchers in all fields and has become an important topic. For this reason, the rapidly increasing researches of academicians from various disciplines on GBCC have focused especially in the last 10 years (Darko and Chan 2016, Lazar and Chithra 2020, Li et al 2017, Doan et al 2017).
Certificate systems have been developed to measure the sustainability level of green buildings and to provide the best application experience at the highest certification level. In line with the criteria given, the design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings are supposed to be certified. The most commonly used criteria are sustainable development, human and environmental health, water saving, material selection, quality of indoor life, social status, and economic quality for the whole building by determining either a sustainable building approach such as ability to achieve energy efficiency or the performance of the building at key points (Bauer et al 2010). Green building certification systems have been designed to provide a framework for building design and building construction where performance targets are met for land use by building employees and other users, energy and water efficiency, indoor quality of life, and other factors. A green building certification system is a relatively more recent and distinct concept than building standards (National Research Council of The National Academies 2013). It includes the following:
Creates a verifiable method and framework to help employees make design, construction, restoration, and business management more sustainable,
Certifies a design or business in line with performance goals,
Certifies design and operating results and strategies used in constructing a building.
There are many GBCC in use today. The pioneer of these systems with a history of 30 years is the BREEAM certification tool introduced by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990 (Ade and Rehm 2019b). Apart from BREEAM in the United Kingdom and LEED in the United States, the most prominent green building certification systems in the world include Canada’s SBTOOL which is recognized as an international system; HKBEAM and CEPAS, used in Hong Kong; GREEN STAR used in Australia; and CASBEE, used in Japan. This certification systems are given in Fig. 3.