Frequently Asked Questions​

Most frequent questions and answers

General

Our proposals are all-inclusive. That means they cover everything related to your EDGE certification journey, including registration, preliminary and final certification costs, design audit fees (if applicable), and site audit fees. If you selected EDGE Expert support, that is also included in the proposal.

You cannot choose your auditor. Sintali works exclusively with SGS. We offer a one-stop shop approach, so you get one contract that includes the certification and auditing, without having to negotiate or tender your auditing fees separately. SGS is one of the largest global auditing firms in the world and has auditors around the world. Having worked on hundreds of EDGE projects, they bring high quality, rigor and expertise to our clients.

Registration, certification and design audit fees need to be paid upfront before any work starts, to avoid any conflict of interest. As soon as payment is received, the project is registered on the EDGE App. For portfolio projects, payment plans are arranged accordingly.

SGS is responsible for the EDGE auditing process. This includes reviewing and approving supporting documents, providing comments to client as needed and recommending a project for certification.

Sintali is responsible for the certification review process. This involves reviewing the audit conducted by SGS and issuing certificates if the buildings meet the EDGE standard. Sintali is also exclusively responsible for the EDGE Zero Carbon certification process.

The one-stop shop offer by the SGS-Sintali consortium allows for a more streamlined process with clients and less communication between multiple parties. SGS acts as the main point of contact for clients. This means all queries, including project and sales enquiries as well as technical queries, should run through SGS. If needed, SGS will pass on queries to Sintali for further support.  

IFC is the EDGE standard owner. That means IFC owns and manages the EDGE App, the EDGE protocols for certification, as well as the accreditation of EDGE Experts. For all enquiries related to EDGE such as: App issues, user guides, methodology reports, other resources, EDGE exam, please contact edge@ifc.org.


EDGE Certification

The time needed for EDGE certification depends largely on the availability of documentation and the client’s familiarity with the EDGE App and the process. From the point that an audit is submitted to the certifier for review, it takes approximately 4 weeks. We do offer an expedited review service for an additional cost. 

The first step to getting your project registered is to ensure your registration invoice has been paid. Once payment has been received, your auditor will contact you and ask you to submit the project on the EDGE App for registration. Make sure you select “Sintali-SGS” as the certifier.

To achieve EDGE Zero Carbon Certification, a project must reach a minimum of 20 percent savings in water and embodied energy, and a minimum of 40 percent energy savings on-site. 100 percent energy savings can then be achieved either through renewables or carbon offsets. For more information, read the IFC guidance.

EDGE certificates do not need renewals as they certify that the asset is built to be resource-efficient.

Projects that undergo the EDGE Zero Carbon certification require renewal every 2-4 years as the certification is based on operational data. 

The base case is calculated using local building codes and practices to establish the minimum energy efficiency standards of different design elements of your project. Where no local codes are available, EDGE uses ASHRAE to calculate these efficiency standards. The local base case also takes into account climatic data from each country as this will affect heating and cooling of a building. There is a unique base case for every country around the world.

Whilst there are many green building standards on the market, EDGE was developed to fulfil a market need that other environmental assessment systems have not yet met. The fundamental differences that make EDGE different from the competitors in the market are that it is:

  • Global: EDGE was designed to be a global standard but take into account local context. It uses the same global methodology across the board but localises the standard by using local base case values applied to each country and city. This allows users to have one standard approach globally regardless of the typology and location of the building, while also taking into account the nuances of different buildings and markets.
  • Quantifiable: EDGE is entirely quantifiable. Unlike other green building standards, there is no qualitative information in EDGE. This is a significant advantage as the green building achievements can easily be communicated to stakeholders, whether they are clients, internal executives or external investors. With EDGE, users know exactly the energy and water savings, as well as the carbon savings.
  • Accessible: EDGE includes a free cloud-based software that removes barriers to understanding green buildings. The data provided freely in the EDGE App makes it more accessible for companies to understand what it takes to design and/or refurbish green buildings, and how much it is going to cost. It also reduces the time required to go through the certification process.
  • Scaleable: EDGE is designed to transform the built environment. In both process and price, the user-friendly and streamlined online process make it possible to scale across thousands of buildings in multiple locations.

For commercial buildings, in version 3 of the EDGE App, developers can choose whether they receive a certificate to cover an entire development or at a building level. Developments can be considered as both multiple typology or mixed use projects.

For residential projects, developers receive a certificate for each unit. The savings and measures shown on the certificate will be particular to that unit type and will reflect the figures that were sampled during the auditing stage.

We offer all-inclusive pricing for EDGE registration, auditing and certification. Our pricing model is split into standard pricing, non-standard pricing and portfolio pricing.

A standard residential project is one that has up to 150 units and up to three different typologies. A standard commercial project is a building with a single end use, for example an office or a hospital. We have a fixed cost for standard projects regardless of how big the project or where it is located. If it fits one of the aforementioned categories, you can find the price here.

For non-standard projects, we calculate a price based the time required to deliver the project. But don’t worry. Our pricing isn’t standard pricing multiplied by the number of buildings. We have developed a unique pricing calculation method to help bring the maximum savings for you and allow you to apply EDGE at scale. Request a quote here and we will respond to you with a quotation within 48 hours

Looking to apply EDGE across your entire portfolio of existing buildings and new developments? We offer custom portfolio pricing for projects with 5 or more sites. For questions regarding your portfolio, contact us here.

Our pricing is not affected by the total floor area of a project. We provide competitive pricing designed to help you scale EDGE across your entire portfolio of buildings and reward scale with efficiency savings.

Yes, EDGE can be used for a fit out to help inform decisions and make efficient choices, but that will depend on the scope of the fit out.

Some fit outs, for example, only require replacing shelves or painting a wall. EDGE would not be appropriate as this does not link to resource efficiency. However, for measures such as replacing windows, flooring, internal walls, EDGE may be a useful tool to help understand the performance of the assets. EDGE may also be used to negotiate with the landlord about improving the overall efficiency of the building.

Yes, for core and shell projects, ‘fit-out’ measures for which tenants are responsible for (such as lighting, ceiling fans, faucets) can still be claimed by EDGE. A ‘tenant fit out guide’ is required in the lease agreement and must be signed between tenants, owners and all future tenant lease agreements. The tenant fit out guide must define the requirements to be fulfilled by the tenants and be included in the EDGE submission.

Yes! The EDGE App was designed as a tool to help businesses develop a retrofit strategy for both new designs as well as existing building. Companies have been using EDGE across hundreds of existing assets to improve the efficiency and slowly decarbonise them. You can read more about how to do this in our recent white paper.

  1. Registration: Clients register a project on the EDGE App by preparing an initial EDGE assessment on the platform and submitting it to their selected certifier. The registration is approved by the certifier, which then allows the client to prepare the assessment for audit.
  2. Design/Construction: During this stage, the client uses the EDGE App to fill out the relevant information and upload appropriate documentation proving how measures have been claimed. This can be done by the client or through the support of an EDGE Expert. Once this is finalised, it is submitted for the audit process.
  3. Audit: SGS carries out either a design or construction site audit to go through the documentation and assess whether the measures claimed have been implemented correctly.
  4. Certification: Sintali reviews the EDGE audit and makes a decision as to whether the project meets the EDGE standard or not.

Registration: A project is registered on the EDGE App as soon as the registration payment is made.

Design/ Construction: The design and construction time is dependent on the client. Some projects require few improvements to reach the EDGE standard, whilst others require an EDGE Expert or consultant to help them through the design or retrofit improvements. The time taken during this process is entirely dependent on the client but we have seen it take as little as a couple of days.

Audit: SGS typically provides a decision within 2 weeks following the submission of the assessment for audit, but it may take up to 4 weeks to review the project and recommend a project for certification.

Certification: Once the audit is submitted to Sintali for review, organisations receive a certification decision within 4 weeks.

The documents required for each stage of the certification process can be found in the User Guides on the EDGE website here. The documents required are also listed in the EDGE App under each measure.

EDGE registration will not expire. However, if your project is registered under EDGE Version 2.1.5, you must achieve certification by December 2025.

EDGE Preliminary Certificates will expire 36 months after the certificate has been issued or 12 months after a project has been built, depending on which of these comes first. Please contact us if you think you may need an extension.

If you would like your project to qualify as a new building, a site audit must take place within 12 months of the building’s completion. After 12 months the project may be categorised as an existing building.

Promoting Your Achievements

The EDGE logo is owned by IFC who owns all rights, title and interest in and to the mark.

If a property has registered to go through the EDGE certification process but has not yet been certified it cannot display the EDGE logo. If a project has received the preliminary certificate but this has expired and final certification has not been achieved it cannot display the EDGE logo.

More information on using the EDGE logo here.

You can order EDGE plaque on the EDGE website here.

We love showcasing your projects and seeing how EDGE has been used around the world. If you would like a feature on the Sintali website please email julia@sintali.com to set up an interview.

If you would like your project to be featured on the EDGE website, once your subproject has been certified, you can submit it for a project study. On the EDGE App, open the project and click the ‘Project Study’ button to access the form to submit a project study request. Fill in the form and upload pictures. Once submitted it will be sent to EDGE admin for review and posting.

Training

Yes, we accredit EDGE Expert trainers who can deliver training in multiple languages. We currently only offer English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. We will shortly be offering Chinese too. 

Please review our requirements for EDGE Trainers here  and submit a partnership request

You only have to take the EDGE Exam if you want to get the EDGE Expert accreditation. We have many clients who take the EDGE Expert training to improve their understanding of the standard, without necessarily needing the accreditation.

You need to have a higher education qualification in a construction industry-related field, or three years’ experience in a construction industry-related field and a higher education qualification of any kind. 

Version 3.0

One of the key updates in EDGE version 3.0 is an updating of all the baselines around the world. As building codes become more rigorous, the baselines in EDGE become more rigorous as they are an aggregation of building codes and industry practices. That means that countries where the building regulations have become more stringent will see that a 20% improvement over the baseline is harder to achieve than it used to be.

The EDGE App is owned and managed by IFC. As certifiers, we can submit errors to IFC to be resolved, but we do not have direct control over the EDGE App. Please submit the error to edge@sintali.com with screenshots and we will work with IFC to resolve the issue.