Romania Green Building Council launches the third version of their GREEN HOMES certification scheme – the most robust international green certification system, designed specifically for improving the residential sector. To date, more than 10.000 houses, worth more than 1.5 Billion Euros, have been certified or under agreement to certify in Romania.  

Creating the new version of the residential certification system involved numerous specialists with expertise in energy efficiency, biodiversity, acoustics, waste management, indoor air quality, radon pollution management, bioclimatic design and architecture, commissioning, and construction site management. The new version is built upon the existing system which already requires superior energy efficiency and supports better access to alternative transportation, water consumption optimisation, urban regeneration, biophilic design and urban food production following permaculture principles.

Billions of people across the world spend over 90% of their life inside buildings and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the time people spent inside their homes. This context has opened the important discussion about how healthy are our homes?  The requirements set out by the GREEN HOMES certification program are therefore focused both on reducing the impact on the environment during construction and operation of the homes and on the health, wellbeing and safety of the families occupying the homes. 

The system covers all stages of a residential housing project, from concept to execution, to the period after the home is delivered to the end user.  In addition to existing criteria such as mandatory testing of the housing units before occupancy to ensure safe indoor air quality, the new version adds criteria to monitor, control and reduce exposure to Radon in all occupied areas of the home.   The sustainable materials and other design requirements reduce or eliminate many harmful chemicals found in some building materials such as formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as well as reduces exposure to particulate pollution  in homes.  

The “GREEN HOMES certified by Romania Green Building Council” programme also addresses the social, economic and environmental challenges that Romania faces, such as illegal deforestation, excessive use of finite natural resources, use of toxic materials, and poor waste management practices in the building sector.   Measures promoted by the Green Homes certification include the implementation of a construction pollution prevention plan along with requirements to recycle at the minimum 30% of the waste produced on site in the construction stage.  There is an obligation to set up a waste collection system at the building site to collect five types of waste according to “zero waste” requirements.   There is also an obligation for developers of residential units to provide a separate collection system for bio-waste and the possibility of treating it on site or contracting with a public treatment operator for composting or anaerobic digestion.

GREEN HOMES encourages the construction of better quality, healthier housing while providing financial benefits for occupants; reducing families’ total monthly cost of home ownership.    The programme has partnered with banks in Romania who offer discounted “Green Mortgages” for qualified projects; financial products that reward and require a holistic array of green criteria beyond energy efficiency.   When acknowledging the program’s achievement as a finalist for the European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week Awards in 2019, Alpha Bank Romania’s Deputy Manager Ana Maria Ciortan stated “In 2018, we joined the Green Mortgage programme with Romania Green Building Council because we encourage Green Homes construction or refurbishment through better lending conditions in terms of interest rates and commission”.

Leading investors and project developers who have completed projects or committed to build future projects to the program’s challenging green requirements include, in alphabetical order, AFI Europe, AIR Residence 2, Alesonor, , Belvedere Residence, CNO Techno Construct, Dalghias Development, Ecovillas, Forte Partners, Forty Management, Global Invest, ONE United Properties, Millstone Developments, Mason-Jar, Nidus MNH, Nordis Group, Rahmaninov Residence, Rock Development, Studium Green, All Hemp, Șoimeni Parc , Țiriac Imobiliare and 1 Development.

The Green Homes and Green Mortgages program initiated by Romania Green Building Council is internationally recognized and strongly supported by the European Commission’s Directorate General Energy (DG Energy). It is also on the forefront of aligning the green home certification with the Directorate General Environment’s (DG Environment’s) Level(s) framework to include embodied carbon/Life-cycle Assessment and success towards a Circular Economy. The project received an EC Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme grant to replicate the program in 11 additional European countries ranging from Ireland to Georgia. The international program is being implemented by Green Building Councils and national Energy Agencies and supported by leading academic institutions including the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency; A partnership of the United Nations Environment Program and Danish Technical University and the Université Libre de Bruxelles.  For more information on the SMARTER Finance for Families project, visit https://c2e2.unepdtu.org/smarter/

In the links bellow are details about the green mortgage programs:
Raiffeisen Bank: https://bit.ly/30Gx8C9

Alpha Bank: https://bit.ly/2OOJ7It

About RoGBC

Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) is a non-profit, non-political association of businesses and other organizations active throughout the country. It is the leading organization promoting environmental responsibility and energy efficiency in the Design, Construction, Operation, and Deconstruction of Romania’s buildings.  The organization advocates for green building policy improvements, provides education for building and real estate professionals, and hosts an extensive selection of awareness building events for the general public and relevant stakeholders.

More information about RoGBC can be found at www.RoGBC.org. Information about the GREEN HOMES programme can be found at: http://www.rogbc.org/en/projects/green-homes

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