Green Building EDGE standard Program

Buildings consume a large share of energy and water resources and are responsible for up to 20% of global CO2 emissions. This program, implemented by the IFC, aims at supporting the construction sector in several SECO priority countries to design greener buildings. By reducing energy and water use of buildings, operational costs for house owners will decrease.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Africa
Climate-friendly growth
01.07.2016 - 31.12.2019
CHF 9'975'000
Background In many developing countries, the construction sector is booming and fast urbanization often leads to scarcity and thus higher prices for energy and water. Therefore, well-designed urban policies, particularly in the construction sector, can have huge economic, environmental and social impact. While green building standards (such as 'Minergie' in Switzerland) are used in developed countries, a realistic and cost effective standard is missing for developing countries.
Objectives The program tries to use the opportunity that exists to channel the current building boom in Middle Income Countries towards a path of lower carbon emissions and greater resource efficiency in a way which is cost effective. Specifically, it seeks to increase the availability of green building, including low-income housing, by way of changing the perception of the public, private sector and households on green buildings. The goal is to make the benefits of green buildings clearer for policy-makers, builders, bankers and buyers and to change decisions accordingly.
Medium-term outcomes The aim is to introduce or update green building codes and reach 20% of voluntary green certification for new buildings within 7 years. By 2022, the implementation in the six SECO priority countries is expected to result in 772’000 tons CO2e GHG reduction p.a. (equivalent to 160,000 cars taken off the road)- 1’357’000 MWh energy savings p.a. (equivalent to 1 GW of solar installed, which would take up over 1,000 hectares of land)- and 31 Mio. m3 in water savings p.a. (equivalent to the water consumption of 850,000 people).

Expected results:   Regulatory work: Together with the government, elaborate a Green Building Code as a minimum regulatory requirement, which is realistic for the private sector to implement and for the government to enforce. Voluntary EDGE standard: Provide a voluntary standard, which uses 20% less energy and water consumption than the Green Building Code requires. The certification is provided by local certifiers where possible and is profit-oriented to ensure the self-sustainability of the EDGE standard. Demonstration projects: Work on demonstration buildings with developers that meet the EDGE Standard of 20% reduction in energy and water consumption and show that it is economically viable to build green.New financial products: Support banks to channel finance to green buildings (i.e. lower interest rates for green mortgages).Skills and awareness: Introduce or improve university courses on green buildings.Free software: Freely available online software to check measures that reduce energy and water and save money.

Results from previous phases:   SECO already supported the elaboration of Green Building Codes in Colombia (2011-2015), Vietnam and Indonesia (2013-2016). Thanks to the positive experience, SECO decided to support a second phase with a more holistic approach and with the expansion to Peru, South Africa and Ghana. Indonesia results:112 green buildings with total size of around 8 million square meters have complied with the Jakarta Governor Code on Green Building. This amounts to a reduction of CO2 equivalent of 265’968 metric tons/year, energy savings of 375’130 Mwh/year and energy cost savings of USD 30’010’434. Vietnam results:700 green buildings, 7.1 million square meters comply with the new green building code, which results into 117’000 tons of CO2 equivalent avoided per year and 270 GWh saved per year. Colombia results:The green building code has been approved in parliament but will only be effective from July 2016 onwards.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • International Finance Corporation

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   9'975'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   304'000'000
Project phases Phase 10 01.07.2016 - 31.12.2019   (Current phase)