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Comprehensive guide to green buildings is released

IT cyber security and networking company, OryxAlign, has released a new guide, tailored for construction professionals, facilities managers and commercial real estate managers, to help them navigate the complexities of green certifications, offering insights into creating sustainable, healthy and secure building environments.

The Green Buildings Guide, 2024: Achieving Green, Healthy & Cyber Secure Buildings highlights how the global focus on sustainable construction and refurbishment is driving green and healthy building certification. The top five countries globally that use the three most popular certifications, including LEED, BREEAM and WELL, are the US, UK, China, Canada and Mexico. These countries have a combined total of over 190,000 green-certified buildings, with the most popular in the UK being BREEAM certification.

Organisations are recognising the impact of green certification on market value, operational costs and occupant health, as well as on environmental goals such as energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality. According to a recent YouGov survey commissioned by OryxAlign for the guide, 86 per cent of senior executives at tenant companies in the UK consider environmental accreditation important when selecting new premises.

The guide examines popular rating schemes such as LEED, BREEAM and WELL, analysing their pros and cons. Notably, LEED has seen a 330 per cent increase since 2014, BREEAM’s market share rose from six per cent in 2013 to 30 per cent in 2023 and WELL certification experienced a remarkable 1,061 per cent increase between 2017 and 2021. However, the survey reveals a concerning lack of experience in building to these specifications among construction companies, with 38 per cent having no clear understanding.

Greg Richards, Account Director at OryxAlign explained: “Green building certifications are pivotal for businesses seeking sustainable growth. In this latest guide, we dissect the advantages of certifications like BREEAM and WELL and shed light on the crucial intersection of green and healthy buildings with cyber security.”

Despite the benefits of green and healthy buildings, the guide underlines growing concerns about cyber security risks. With an 86 per cent increase in IoT attacks from 2021 to 2022, better connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) presents significant risks. The guide provides insights into potential threats and cyber security challenges, offering best practices aligned with the UK’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the US Center for Internet Security (CIS).

Richards added: “Cyber breaches that give criminals unauthorised access to a building can allow them to sabotage surveillance systems, tamper with climate controls and capture sensitive data collected by smart devices, such as occupancy patterns. What’s more, the interconnected nature of these systems means that a breach in one can compromise the building’s entire network.”

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About Sarah OBeirne

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