By Anisa Pinatih
In seeking accreditation, costs may become a major consideration, but one should not overlook the benefits that justify the efforts. Green accreditation is a confirmation that developers have dedicated efforts and resources to meet environmental standards and that their building performance meets certain thresholds.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the raised awareness of the impact of climate change, sustainable features are increasingly perceived as a priority, so accreditations can be a kind of insurance for developers. Besides, with clear objectives, a collaborative culture and the right tools, the costs and risks in achieving Green building accreditation could be kept at minimum, where the benefits will outweigh the costs.
Accreditation not only demonstrates that construction procedures and method, as well as the building’s performance comply with the standards set by authorities, but also shows the developers’ commitment to the industry-recognised standards regarding environmental protection; training and qualification; health and safety; etc. For example, the Green Mark certification by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is considered to have a positive effect on a corporate’s image.
Concrete evidence like this helps to build homebuyers and commercial clients’ trust in the construction business. Besides, it also demonstrates the construction stakeholders’ technical knowledge and expertise, proving that the company are keeping up with trends, standards, technologies and legislations.
GAINING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
An accreditation could improve a company’s credibility in a new target market, especially if existing competitors have not reached the same level of accreditation. It indicates a competitive edge and shows how a business has been acknowledged by a recognised body. In other words, project buyers will not have to spend time and money to do the testing by themselves.
Even among accredited competitors, a business can still benefit from the accreditation by showcasing their unique selling points. For example, a Green Mark certification could give a potential client more assurance because it is designed locally, so it is more suitable for buildings and construction in Singapore compared to a US-centric certification.
DEVELOPING A MARKETING EDGE
An effective marketing strategy could highlight the benefits of Green for target audiences as comfort and sustainability features are closely linked. Increasing natural lighting, for instance, has been proven to increase productivity and healing, as well as help one cope with a prolonged isolation. However, developers need to go beyond a Green logo on their brochure if they want to obtain maximum benefits. Quality is after all what matters most for buyers.
Lastly, accreditation bodies usually publish a directory of construction businesses that they have certified. This itself is an exposure that helps to target the right audience.
In some buyers’ perspective, sustainable features may mean more budget and expenses. Admittedly, a limited understanding of the benefits of Green housing attributes can be a key inhibitor to the movement towards more sustainable options. Therefore, we need to know the project buyers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for Green attributes, which may vary in accordance with the attribute’s nature and contingent on different sets of socio-demographic factors.
Knowledge about WTP could be a point of reference for a developer to justify and evaluate their decision-making with regard to Green accreditation.
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