HQE Sustainable Building family

the best guarantee that your building is efficient, sustainable and aligned with the European Taxonomy and ESG criteria

Launched by Certivea in June 2022, the family of HQE Sustainable Building (HQE-SB) certifications is primarily designed for non-residential real estate stakeholders at the cutting edge of sustainable development who are looking to meet the European Union’s Green Taxonomy objectives and ESG criteria.

This new family is the fourth version (v4) of HQE Sustainable Building and benefits from practical feedback from the first three versions of the scheme.

It offers 3 types of certifications: HQE-SB Construction, HQE-SB Renovation and HQE-SB in Operation, whose modular schemes can be adapted to the type of building to be certified: offices, retail, warehouse, hotel, childcare centre, school, campus, museum,library, etc.

The HQE-SB schemes for health establishments will be launched by end-2022.

HQE Sustainable Building responds to the new non-residential real estate situation:

· As a road map, its comprehensive approach helps you manage all sustainable development issues, along with the growing complexity of construction, renovation and operation projects.

· As a sign of quality, it indicates to all your stakeholders that your property project is efficient and sustainable and meets all the European Taxonomy objectives.

In France, Certivea is accredited by COFRAC (French Accreditation Committee) for its HQE Sustainable Building certification (COFRAC accreditation 5-0054, certification of products and services, the scope of which can be found at


HQE Sustainable Building under Construction

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HQE Sustainable Building in Renovation

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HQE Sustainable Building in Operation

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How does HQE Sustainable Building differ from HQE Building?

The families of HQE Sustainable Building and HQE Building (HQE-B) certifications both fall within Alliance HQE-GBC’s “Sustainable Building” reference framework.

They both help our clients improve the environmental, societal and economic performance of their buildings, as well as the management and governance of their projects.

HQE Sustainable Building covers both:

  • the core themes of sustainable development: energy, water, waste, carbon, adaptation to climate change, health, comfort, project governance, etc.
  • the themes central to the major transitions and public policies of the 2020s: circular economy, biodiversity, inclusive design, local economy, lifecycle analysis, etc

HQE Building only covers the core themes of sustainable development. We could say that HQE-B fits neatly within HQE-SB in the same way Russian dolls do.

HQE Sustainable Building and HQE Building share the same requirements and level of requirements for all themes common to both.

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Benefits of HQE Sustainable Building

Photo vue aérienne du bâtiment le Quartz

· Increases your building’s green property, rental and financial value

· Testifies that your building is aligned with the Green Taxonomy objectives, improving your ESG and SRI scores, etc. and accessing the best financing conditions (green bonds)

· Reduces energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs

· Makes your building more appealing, offering its users high-quality, healthy living and working environments that enhance their wellbeing

· Protects your building against the risk of obsolescence by anticipating regulatory evolutions and keeping pace with societal changes

· Maintains better control over your real estate project’s costs and scheduling (building in construction, renovation or in operation)

Main principles of HQE certification

Comprehensive approach of Sustainable Development

HQE certifications take a comprehensive approach by incorporating all aspects of sustainable development in a balanced way, requiring all themes to be addressed and preventing from seeking high performance in some themes at the expense of others.

Sound certification schemes

they are built on scientifically and technically sound schemes, which are developed in partnership with Alliance HQE-GBC and numerous stakeholders and constantly improved with practical feedback from all non-residential real estate stakeholders.

Independent third-party audits

Independent third-party audits : Each HQE certification relies on verifications and/or audits by an independent third party of the data submitted by the client, its consultant or any other partner.

Verifications and audits generate constructive dialogue and serve as a guarantee for quality and impartiality which, in turn, instil trust.

Contextualized approach

The HQE schemes are not prescriptive and may be contextualised if certain requirements are not applicable. Each project team chooses its architectural and technical solutions in line with the specific characteristics and ambitions of its operation and the resources allocated to it.