Nowadays, with the issues brought on by global warming, it is getting increasingly important to discover ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. According to studies, buildings are responsible for 40% of the global carbon dioxide emissions. For this reason, the world is witnessing rapid developments in green building systems designed to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings and minimize their adverse effects on the environment.

The most common ones are the US-based LEED and the UK-based BREEAM building certification systems. The common objective of both systems is to ensure that people avoid products and practices that would negatively affect the lives of future generations while creating new living and working spaces for themselves.

Due to the methodological calculation differences between these two systems created for essentially the same purpose, assessments carried out according to LEED or BREEAM for the same building may yield different results. Outside the United Kingdom, there are only 420 buildings in total worldwide, that have BREEAM certificate. Therefore, BREEAM is a system primarily created in accordance with the British materials and specifications.

Obtaining a LEED or a BREEAM certificate for projects which are conceived with a green building approach in mind during the design phase, will only be possible by following a set of simple methods. Challenges associated with implementing both systems are commonly shared by every country. After all, the goal of the both systems is to change the customary and conventional products and practices by taking into account their environmental aspects.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, which started building certification operations in 1998, was created for the purpose of driving change and improvements in the construction industry in terms of sustainability. The purpose is to gradually replace the materials and methods used in today's construction industry in consideration of sustainability principles and thus, building structures that have minimal negative impact on the environment.


We are working towards obtaining LEED PLATINIUM and BREEAM certificates for our ongoing projects which are Tekfen Archive Building and the Peninsula Hotel, respectively. If, for instance, we list the work items under our responsibility in the Tekfen Archive Building project, I believe this will provide us more clear information in regards to the inner workings of the system.


    The following 22 materials have been subjected to a lifecycle analysis and as a result, the products have been approved for LEED compliance. These products have been selected from the subcontractors who have been issued with a verified EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) certificate. The products are as follows;

    1. Carbon steel reinforcing bar ; Ekinciler Iron and Steel Works Inc.
    2. Waterproofing membrane ; (OPAL STD OP 300) ODE Yalıtım Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
    3. Aerated Concrete Hollow Flooring Block Türk YTONG Sanayi A.Ş.
    4. Aerated Concrete Wall Block Türk YTONG Sanayi A.Ş.
    5. Urinal - Code: 280931 Duravit A.G.
    6. Elastomeric Rubber Insulation - R Flex ODE Yalıtım Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
    7. Fastening Element - Self Drilling Screw EJOT Baubenfestigungen GmbH
    8. Rockwool Insulation İzocam Ticaret ve Sanayi A.Ş.
    9. Titanium-Zinc Roofing System Rheinzink GmbH & Co
    10. Soltis 86 Technical Textile for Motorized Drapes Serge Ferrari
    11. Porcelain Ceramic Slab - Kalesinterflex Kaleseramik Canakkale Kalebodur Seramik San.
    12. Corex Plasterboard Dry Wall Panel Dalsan Alci Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
    13. Porcelain Wall Tiles Seranit Granit Seramik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.
    14. Porcelain Floor Tiles Seranit Granit Seramik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.
    15. Coated & Uncoated Flat Glass Guardian Europe s.a.r.l.
    16. Plaster Dalsan Alci Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
    17. Schüco FWS50 Facade System Schüco International KG
    18. Schüco AWS65 Facade System Schüco International KG
    19. Aquapanel Outdoor Cement Board Knauf Aquapanel GmbH
    20. Fire Retardant Fibreboard for Internal
    21. Permanently Attached Furnishings Spanolux S.A.
    22. Corian® Solid Surface Corian design
    23. Hand Wash Basin - Code: 30960000 Duravit A.G.
    24. Jotashield SuperDurable Silk - Paint Jotun
    25. Fenomastic Güzel Evim Zengin Mat - Paint Jotun
    26. Staron® Acrylic Solid Surfaces Lotte Advanced Materials
    27. Cast Glass Glassfabrik Lamberts GmbH & Co. KG
    28. Floor coverings - Carpet Tiles Milliken Industrials Ltd.
  3. LEED requirements are categorized under 3 main headings:

    1. Erosion and Sedimentation Control; Measures have been taken to prevent sedimentation of storm sewer or receiving streams and the loss of fertile soil due to stormwater runoff.
    2. Waste Management; Recyclable wastes have been delivered to licensed recycling companies and weight / volume charts have been kept on all the waste generated.
    3. Indoor Air Quality Measures During the Construction Stage: Measures have been taken such as protecting and storing porous materials, avoiding procedures that generate smoke and gases indoors after the building facades are closed off, not smoking, protecting ventilation devices / ducts during storage and after installation.
  5. Materials such as paint, construction chemicals, floor covering etc. purchased according to the specifications, meeting the volatile organic compound (VOC) release limits, thus reducing the contaminants arising from the materials after the building is put into service. This issue has been taken into consideration for the following categories and certain materials have been rejected due to non-compliance.

    1. Paints used indoors
    2. Mastic, adhesives etc. used indoors
    3. Floor coverings (Carpet, epoxy, ceramic etc.)
    4. Rockwool insulation

  7. To minimize the heat island effect, all titanium roofing was painted to a "white" color with a high SRI value, thus increasing sunlight reflectivity

  9. Material documentation and manufacturer declarations have been procured on the following subjects for LEED certification:

    1. Local sourcing; Local products located at the longest distance of 120 km have been selected to gain additional points. Concrete, iron, steel, space frame roof system, glass, aluminium shape.
    2. Use of products with recycled content; It has been ensured that materials with recycled content are used; Iron, steel, aluminium shape, composite floor, corrugated steel sheet etc.
    3. Water consumption has been put under control; Water consumption values of vitrified products have been put under control by installing an aerator, and the declaration has been supported with application photos.
    4. The relevant documentation have been declared for the following Product Performance Values;
      • Mechanical equipment performance and efficiency values
      • Glass facade system performance values
      • Gas coolant quantities of the mechanical equipment whose operating principle is based on the thermodynamic cycle
      • Lighting intensity calculations
      • Origin and irrigation requirement of landscaping plants.

  11. To minimize the heat island effect, all titanium roofing was painted to a "white" color with a high SRI value, thus increasing sunlight reflectivity

    • Mechanical equipment performance and efficiency values
    • Commissioning controls & tests have been performed on the following items in consideration of LEED requirements:
    • Energy-consuming mechanical systems (VRV, air conditioning, ventilation)
    • Lighting
    • Electrical infrastructure


As a result of works carried out under the supervision of a director who himself is a quality engineer, and two separate consultants, the requirements of the employer have been met, and our building has achieved the level to obtain a Leed Platinum certificate. In Green Building applications, regardless of the certification system chosen, it will be necessary to perform the works by taking into consideration the system requirements and opting for products with low environmental impact, beginning with the first project stage and until the end of the field application.

Written by Serdar Elgin, Director of Contract, YOO Architecture