The green building sector is still a relatively new concept in Brazil. There are two main certifications for sustainable buildings. The American seal LEED was the first sustainable seal implemented in the country, while the AQUA was the first Brazilian technical certificate for sustainable buildings, inspired by the French label HQE. The AQUA seal evaluates the environmental management of construction considering the specificities of Brazil. The growing size of the market and of the CBCS (Sustainable Building Council Brazil) membership provide a business opportunity for Swedish companies that have a long tradition in supplying products and services for green and energy efficient construction.
In order to achieve the sustainable building certificate, companies usually hire specialized consultants to monitor the process and obtain the certification. The certification is seen as a green signature for the market, and is attractive to financing institutions and construction companies.
Examples of construction companies that work with these certificates are Gafisa, Camargo Correa, Andrate Guitierez and Hochtief.
In 2010, there were 25 constructions with Aqua certificates, 32 buildings with LEED certificates and also more than 302 in certification process regarding for a LEED seal. With these numbers, Brazil ranks in the fifth position in the world ranking of green buildings, just after the United States, United Arab Emirates, Canada and China.
There is a large number of Swedish suppliers that can benefit by understanding the standard and knowing how to market their product in a LEED-friendly way. There are two clusters of companies—providers of energy-saving equipment (heating in particular) and providers of water efficient equipment that have potential to profit from the LEED standard in particular.
These companies can benefit by clearly demonstrating (through marketing literature and so on) their contribution to building’s total energy and water savings when compared with baseline targets. In this way, these companies will more effectively communicate with Brazil green building community.