Green building in Turkey: an overview

There’s no doubt that the global construction industry is moving towards green building in a bid to reduce the built environment’s impact on the planet.

The pace of growth in recent years for sustainable building has been remarkable. Globally, the green building sector has shot up from $3 bn in 2005 to $120 bn in 2015, and is expected to reach $364 bn by 2022, according to Grand View Research Inc.
To what extent is Turkey adopting green building practices? 
As economic development continues in Turkey, so does the demand for housing, infrastructure and energy. With power outages and energy price increases already being seen, energy-efficiency is a top priority.
This had led to Turkey’s construction industry becoming a leader in terms of sustainable building practices. In December 2016, Turkey was rated 9th in the world for LEED-certified space by the US Green Building Council.
Market potential

The green building sector is already fairly well established in Turkey, with projects spread throughout the country, but there is still vast scope for growth.
Recommendations by the Turkish Association of Real Estate and Real Estate Investment Companies (GYODER) call for 600,000 houses to be built annually to reach a total of 7.5 million by 2023. While, Research and Market’s 2015 report suggests that demand for eco-friendly building will increase over the period 2014-2019.  
The current and expected demand for residential and non-residential construction projects in Turkey, along with rising awareness of long-term cost-effectiveness of green building suggest great business potential for material and service suppliers.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) certification programmes are both well established in Turkey with around 400 certified projects in total.
The US Green Building Council placed Turkey 9th in the world for LEED-certified space in December 2016, with 4.78 million gross sqm. Momentum is certainly gaining; of Turkey’s 191 LEED-certified projects to date, 66% were certified between 2015 and 2016.
Turkish Green Building Council (ÇEDBİK), established in 2007, has served as a guiding light in implementing green building projects in Turkey. ÇEDBİK has grown from 25 founding members to 130 members. The Council supports LEED activities in Turkey under its contract with USGBC and has established ÇEDBİK-Konut, a certification system for new housing suited to Turkey’s climatic and earthquake-prone conditions.
Government incentives

The Turkish government is wholly committed to encouraging sustainable building practices and has launched a series of policies including:

- 10th National Development Plan
- National Climate Change Action Plan (2011-23)
- National Climate Change Strategy (2010-20)
- National Energy Efficiency Action Plan
- Regulation on Building Energy Performance
Major projects

High-profile new builds in Turkey are increasingly getting the green treatment such as the LEED-silver Istanbul New Airport. Ülkü Özeren, Director of Environment and Sustainability for the Airport explains: “Rainwater, recycled water, and greywater will be used for the building’s own needs, saving 1.5 million m3 of water a year, equaling the annual water consumption of 5,500 households. Our energy efficiency efforts will save energy equivalent to 19,000 households’ annual consumption and 30,700 tonnes of CO2 per year.”
The recent renovation of the Adnan Menderes University Hospital in western Turkey reduced its energy consumption by 50% by bringing in sun-tracking parabolic solar collectors and a first for the country – a new tri-generation system which produces electricity, heating and cooling all in one go, thus making power go further.
Other green building projects include the T. Garanti Bank Karsiyaka Office, IS-GYO Technology and Operations Center, and the Agaoglu Maslak 1453 C Blok, all of which achieved LEED gold certification in 2017.