4.2. Certification schemes

Different methods are available for designing sustainable buildings. However, most of these approaches have focused so far on residential and office buildings and are not well adapted to industrial places such as stations or depots. Nevertheless, the methodologies can be very helpful for listing all the parameters that must be taken into account when planning the building or renovation of a new property in the public transport field.


Fig. 44 – Criteria taken into account for the Breeam certification


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is the one of the world’s leading and most widely used sustainable building certification scheme. It addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings.

This assessment method was developed in the UK and can be used to assess any building type. BREEAM has become a widely used measure to describe a building’s environmental performance. It uses a straightforward scoring system that is transparent, flexible, and easy to understand as well as supported by evidence-based science and research.

The scheme involves assessment at design stage and post-construction, where credits are awarded in nine categories. The individual credits for each category are then added together to produce an overall score that determines the rating of the building.

The scale of the rating is: Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

Fig. 45 – Criteria taken into account for the HQE certification


The HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) is a methodology for achieving high environmental quality in the building sector by assisting those involved in construction or refurbishment to choose sustainable technologies and solutions. This French standard was established and is controlled by the Association pour la Haute Qualité Environnementale (ASSOHQE), based in Paris.

The methodology specifies criteria for achieving two main goals:

  • Managing the impacts on the outdoor environment
  • Creating a pleasant indoor environment.


The DGNB Certification (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) is a German tool for the planning and evaluation of buildings. It was developed by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs (BMVBS). The scheme is a transparent and comprehensible rating system that is based on real-world circumstances.

It defines the quality of buildings in a comprehensive way and enables auditors to conduct an evaluation systematically and independently. As it is based on a meritocratic rating system, it covers all relevant criteria for sustainable construction. Outstanding buildings are awarded the bronze, silver or gold categories.

During the evaluation, six criteria are considered by the certification:

  • Ecological quality
  • Economic quality
  • Socio-cultural and functional quality
  • Technical quality
  • Quality of the process
  • Quality of the location.