“Most Sustainable” Awards in Estonia Competition

Criteria for the competition

Sustainability is not primarily about the environment.
Estonian Green Building Council and Sustainable Real Estate and Energy cluster (KEN Cluster) declared a competition to be started during World Green Building Week. In this competition, there are 8 categories of criteria to choose “The Most Sustainable Awards Estonia”. These cover economic, social and environmental criteria – the sweet spot for sustainability is balancing and enhancing environmental, economic and social benefits.
Without a good return the project will not survive financially. Without considering envionmental impact, the local and global surroundings will be damaged. Without including social effect, the people and society will gain less benefit.

Dealine for entering the competition is on 16th of February.

Prize groups
There are three groups of prizes:
– Most Sustainable design (on paper)
– Most Sustainable building/ buildings/ area (constructed)
– Most Sustainable company (this group will be introduced later and is not specific only to buildings, energy or real estate projects)
Methodology of the competition for Design and Construction
There are 40 questions. Each of the 8 categories has 5 questions. Each question is weighted from 1-5, 1 being the lowest score, 5 being the highest score. A score of 0 is given if any answer is not supplied
Round 1 – Selection
A number of proects/ buildings in Estonia will be selected by a pre-selection team to ensure sufficient numbers and additionally any projects/ buildings may apply for the award. So anyone may participate and there are no biases.
Each project/building will supply answers on paper for each of the questions per category based on self assessment, or if they have no answer, it will be considered a score of zero.
Round 2 – Judging
If any judge is in some way related to a project/ building being judged, he/ she will not be allowed to vote on that project/ building.
The judging team will go through each question per project/building and give their score. The average score of all the judges will be calculated and allocated to that question.
The total score for all the questions across each category will be summed up and the three buildings with the highest score will be selected.
Round 3 – audit:
The audit team (consisting of 2 judges who have audit experience) will inspect the top 3 projects/ buildings on paper and physically against answers provided. If more than 3 answers provided do not match the real situation, then that building will be removed from the list and the next in line will be selected. This will continue until the highest scoring 3 buildings remain with verifiable (honest) answers.
Round 4 – selection of winners:
The judging team will come together to review the top 3 buildings remaining.
For the most sustainable design, the architect or a representative will present their building for 45 minutes and the judges may ask any questions.
For the most sustaiable building, the judges will visit and review the buildings each building using 45 minutes.
The judges will then convene and reach consensus (based on majority agreement) on the ranking 1st, 2nd and 3rd based on both the previous scores from round 2 judging and round 4 presentations and physical review.
The winners will be published and prizes will be given.
The top project/ building/ company will be sent to participate in the European Most Sustainable Awards.
Without a good return the project will not survive financially. Without considering envionmental impact, the local and global surroundings will be damaged. Without including social effect, the people and society will gain less benefit.


1. Direct finance and value
– Return on equity (%) – this is total money put in, compared to total money taken out.
– Attractiveness/prestige of the building – based on visual appearence
– A calculation of LifeCycle Costing was made. What were the results?
– Social or other public space has been included in the design/ building
– Option(s) exist for the building owner and or local society to earn additional income except tenant income (eg. solar sales to grid, social spaces can be rented out, wind energy)


2. Management
– Estonian LifeCycle Standard (ELS) was used in design/ construction. Link
– Building is certified with Breeam, Leed, DGNB or HQE
– Staff and building users are trained in optimal (energy, resource, water, safety, health) use of/ behaviours in the building and/or a building user guide is provided by design/construction
– A third party review/ analysis has been made of the design/ supervision works and improvements noted and implemented
– An international project management methodology was used (eg. PMI, PRISM…)


3. Resources (cost and use)
– Has a material efficiency strategy document been made for the design/ building
– How does the design/construction minimise use of materials
– Which design/ physical characteristics improve robustness and long term use
– Maintenance/ repair/ replacement costs and issues have been considered from design phase onwards
– Social and financial impacts of resources have been planned and optimised (eg. long term appropriateness of the bulding to the area/ society, financial impact on surrounding areas – gentrification, value-reduction, light-reduction)


4. Energy (cost and use)
– Was an energy model/ measurement made for the building above the normal requirements within Estonian law?
– Each main system and each owned/ tenanted room (if appropriate) and each floor is metered and measured for both electricity and heating
– Thermal modelling and air pressure calculations/ assessments were made and any defects rectified
– Energy efficieny of the building is class A+ (5), A (4), B (3), C (2), other (1)
– Renewable energy sources are used to reduce input energy needed


5. Health and Wellbeing
– Do the light levels meet all norms of EVS 12464-1 and EVS 12464-2? Is natural light visible in all working areas?
– Noise has been deisng and constructed with measurements and input from a qualified accoustician
– An Air Quality plan has been produced covering design (eg. materials without VOCs), construction (eg. dust, pollution from works) and operation (eg. criteria for refurbishment) phases
– Water quality is regularly tested (or designed) for quality, zero-risk of legionella
– CO2 sensors have been installed in all variable occupancy areas and CO monitors in non-variable areas


6. Waste and Water
– A Waste Management Plan has been written/ used during construction
– Waste will be split into more than 6 categories
– >75% of waste is reduced, recycled or reused (not sent for energy or landfill)
– A leak detection system is installed on the mains, each toilet area
– Low-water use sanitary equipment is used throughout the building (eg. zero water urinals)


7. Pollution and Materials
– Are harmful refrigerants are used in technical systems? Write (Ozoning Depleting Potential, Global Warming Potential and type of refrigerant used).
– No additional water/sewage load is put on municipal systems (water is used on site, no more runoff than before develoment, on-site processing of sewage, on-site composting), all contaminants from building(s), roads, parking and other facilities are processed using sand and oil filters
– A LifeCycle asssessment of material impact has been conducted
– Materials certified to at least ISO14001 during manufacture have been chosen
– Materials are locally sourced supporting jobs


8. Transport, Land-Use and ecology
– A transport plan has been made to optimse the road, bicycle, walking, public transport access
– Facilities exist for bcycles (covered racks, lighting, showers, changing rooms, bicycle paths), electric cars and easy public transport access
– Facilities are/will be made available for building users in the local area/ building and other local people
– An ecology plan and future biodiversity plan have been made to optimise on-site and future ecology (animals and plants)
– Site impact has been planned/ minimised, monitored on-site and recorded
For more information please write: info@gbc.ee