Readiness assessment of green building certification systems for residential buildings during pandemics

Aidana Tleuken, Galym Tokazhanov, Mert Guney, Ali Turkyilmaz, Ferhat Karaca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


One of the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic is the momentum it has created for global changes affecting various aspects of daily lives. Among these, green building certification systems (GBCSs) should not be left behind as significant potential modifications may be required to ensure their versatility for residential buildings due to the new pandemic reality. The present study aims to evaluate the readiness of chosen GBCSs for a proper assessment of existing residential housing sustainability in a post-pandemic world. Based on a literature review of the state-of-the-art data sources and round table discussions, the present study proposes a particular set of sustainability indicators covering special sustainability requirements under pandemic conditions. Then, those indicators are used to evaluate the readiness of selected GBCSs (BREEAM, LEED, WELL, CASBEE) to meet new pandemic-resilient requirements based on their responses to the indicators. The assessment shows that none of the reviewed GBCSs are fully ready to cover all the proposed indicators. GBCSs have differing focuses on particular sustainability pillars, which also affected their responses to pandemic-resilient categories. For instance, WELL rating system successfully responded to the health and safety category, whereas LEED showed better preparedness in terms of environmental efficiency. BREEAM and CASBEE systems have a more evenly distributed attention to all three pandemic-resilient categories (Health & Safety, Environmental Resources Consumption, and Comfort) with an accent on the Comfort category. On a specific note, all GBCSs are insufficiently prepared for waste and wastewater management. In the future, GBCSs should be modified to better adapt to pandemic conditions, for which the current work may provide a basis. As an alternative, brand new standards can be created to face newly arising and evolving post-pandemic requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number460
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2021


  • COVID-19
  • LEED
  • Residential building sustainability
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sustainability requirements
  • Urban sustainability
  • WELL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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