Sustainable buildings and Green Building Rating Systems

The green construction industry is moving fast with a growing trend for Green Building Rating Tools. Our products inherently reduce energy, but on top of that our insulation products and systems are amongst the most sustainable, from high levels of recycled content in our Mineral Wool, which was the first to receive Gold for Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold certification in 2010 to responsibly sourced wood for our Wood Wool. Furthermore, our products are supported by an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) and other performance certification, proving that we are pioneering in product sustainability and that our insulation contributes to greener, more sustainable buildings. The green construction industry is moving fast with a growing trend for building sustainability rating tools.

Using Knauf Insulation products in green buildings

Using our products earns points in Green Building Rating Systems. The following documents can be used to show which categories our products contribute to earning points in the various schemes.  

Quick guide to four popular Green Building Assessment initiatives 

BREEAM or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method started in the UK in 1990 where it is now a voluntary initiative in the private sector and compulsory in the public sector. Points are awarded in line with sustainable approaches to energy and water use, internal environment, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology, management processes and the life-cycle of buildings. A total of 109 credits are available of which less than 30 is a fail, a good is 45, very good 55, excellent 70 and outstanding over 85. 

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design started in 1993 in the US and is now popular worldwide as well as in North America. It covers new, existing, commercial and residential property and is concerned with energy, atmosphere, water efficiency, materials, resources and indoor environmental quality. There are a hundred points to achieve. To be certified you need above 40, to get silver >50, gold is >60 and platinum is >80 points and over. 

KI products strictly comply with REACH regulation. This compliance provide additional points through building rating systems like LEEDv4 or BREEAM. REACH Regulation (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) places responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database.

HQE or Haute Qualité Environnementale (High Quality Standard) is a French initiative that started in 1996. Not as widely adopted as LEED or BREEAM, HQE is still committed to common aims including reducing energy and water use, minimal environmental impact on surroundings, a healthy internal environment and the full life-cycle of a building. It covers new and existing buildings from commercial properties to multi-family housing.

DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachaltiges Bauen or German Sustainable Building Council) was founded in 2008 and focuses on around 50 criteria ranging from environmental, economic, technological and work process aspects to sociocultural and functional dimensions. “A holistic approach is taken” meaning the system assesses the entire lifecycle of the building. Buildings are awarded DGNB certificates in bronze, silver or gold. In addition, there is the option of simple precertification in the planning phase.

WELL was launched in 2014 and there are now 894 WELL projects in 34 countries. Version two was launched in 2018. The focus is on “advancing health and well-being in buildings” through issues such as thermal and acoustic comfort and good air quality.


Our products have been installed in many green buildings certified by one of the rating initiatives, such as LEED, BREEAM, HQE or DGNB. Read below two BREEAM reference cases and how Knauf Insulation products contribute to Green Building Rating Systems.

green building Spain Knauf Insulation
green building brochure knauf insulation

From our Level(s) training center pilot project in Slovenia to the new trends of Green Building Rating Systems in Europe, our Sustainability Guides profile how we help specifiers maximise an exciting new Green Building Rating Schemes landscape.