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A review of studies on green building assessment methods by comparative analysis

  • Date:
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
    Yuanyuan Li
    Xiaochen Chen
    Xiaoyu Wang
    Youquan Xu
    Po-Han Chen

Green building assessment methods, which play an essential role in promoting the development of greenbuildings, have attracted much attention in recent years. Many studies have been conducted on the development of new assessment methods and improvement of existing ones through comparative analysis. However, there is no comprehensive study that explicitly explores these efforts. For this purpose, a systematic review of the existing literature on green building assessment methods through comparative analysis is carried out in this paper. The main contributing authors as well as represented countries and areas are investigated. The comparison rules, including the number of comparative assessment methods and high frequency assessment methods, as well as the current status of comparison topics are explored. Finally, some research opportunities are proposed for future development. The research results would serve as a useful reference for both industry practitioners and academics who are interested in the development of green building assessment methods.

Synthesis method: Quantitative and qualitative


The establishment of reliable and effective green building (GB) assessment methods and their further improvements are of great importance to the promotion of green buildings. Past research efforts have compared some existing GB assessment methods, while little work has been done on the holistic review and comparative analysis of these efforts. In this paper, a thorough review of relevant journal articles published between 2004 and 2016 was conducted. Also, a four-level assessment method comparison is proposed as (1) general comparison; (2) category comparison; (3) criterion comparison; and (4) indicator comparison. Research opportunities for the future are summarized through comparative analysis of prior studies as follows: (1) more studies on detailed comparison; (2) more studies from the perspective of management-related aspects; (3) extending the analysis to cover all building types; (4) optimizing processes, procedures and performance of GB assessment methods; and (5) scientific justification for developing and updating assessment methods. As GB assessment methods will remain as a popular research topic in years to come, the above findings will certainly lay a solid foundation for future research in this field.

Screening criteria:

  • 57 papers were selected
  • The study is mainly focused on GB assessment methods through comparative analysis.
  • The study is published in an international journal. Book reviews, non-academic papers, industry reports, magazine articles and papers in conference proceedings were eliminated.
  • The study is published in the English language.
  • Search source ScienceDirect, Engineering Village, and Scopus

Search keywords:

green building or construction, sustainable building or construction, high performance building, building environmental performance, ecological building or construction assessment method or system, rating method or system, certification, evaluation, labeling method or system, guideline, benchmark, assessment standard LEED, CASBEE, DGNB, BREEAM, Green Star, Green Mark, ESGB, GBL, EcoEffect, EcoProfile, ESCALE, HK-BEAM, BEAM Plus, GB Tool, SB Tool

Funding source: 

This work was supported by the Team Building Foundation from Shandong Co-innovation Center of Green Building (LSXT201510), PhD Research Scheme from Shandong Jianzhu University (xnbs1407) and the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry.

Policy Quality
Sustainable building design and construction
Green building
Green certification
Program Evaluation