About EDGE

EDGE, an innovation of International Finance Corporation (IFC), is a green building certification system focused on making new residential and commercial buildings more resource-efficient. EDGE is comprised of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system.

Poised to jumpstart green building in a fast, simple and affordable way, the EDGE software assesses the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into new residential and commercial buildings.

EDGE presents the business case for green building in rapidly urbanizing areas, making green building attainable and acting as an important intervention tool in combating climate change. GBCI administers EDGE certification in nearly 120 countries around the world is the exclusive certification provider for all EDGE buildings in India.

What is EDGE?

  • The EDGE software application is free at edgebuildings.com. Within minutes, a building designer can determine the optimum combination of design strategies for the best return on investment. Based on a building’s parameters, the EDGE software discovers energy- and money-saving design opportunities through region-specific and use-based analysis. As a free design tool, EDGE presents hypothetical costs, savings and payback periods for green building measures (e.g., low-flow taps and solar connectors), helping developers and buildings make the business case for green building.
  • EDGE is a green building certification system that allows design teams and project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into homes, hotels, hospitals, offices and retail spaces.
  • Projects that achieve a 20 percent projected reduction in use of energy, water and embodied energy in materials compared to conventional buildings are eligible for EDGE certification. Certification is offered at a modest cost by GBCI in order to validate project achievement for financial and community stakeholders.


  • In the next few decades, rapid urbanization will change the economies and lifestyles of people living in emerging markets across the globe. Rapid urbanization can threaten infrastructure and can lead to energy shortages, waste accumulation, water scarcity, air quality crises and other serious environmental issues. Buildings directly contribute to these challenges. They consume 35 percent of global energy, 5 percent of global water and produce 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Green buildings, however, can also be part of the solution.
  • All of the issues associated with urbanization can be addressed by building better, high-performing buildings and communities, providing a singular gateway toward a more sustainable future for all. With the right investments, buildings can be transformed into extraordinary assets that achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help reduce their environmental impact.
  • IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, created EDGE to address the challenges emerging markets face. EDGE empowers design teams and project owners to quickly evaluate and compare estimated costs for design strategies targeting reductions in energy use, water use and embodied energy in materials. EDGE enables communities to reduce their carbon footprint through lower greenhouse gas emissions, while also helping emerging market regions save money by minimizing operating costs and boosting efficiency. By presenting financially viable, region-specific green building recommendations on energy efficiency and more, EDGE makes the financial benefits of green buildings clear.
  • EDGE certification further validates design strategies and provides independent, third-party verification at an affordable cost. Certification enables owners and developers to market their building to those that wish to own, rent or work in a green building.
  • Working specifically in emerging market countries, EDGE compliments existing green building rating systems by providing a quantifiable business case that resonates with sectors of the market that have been slow to change. EDGE encourages more affordable green housing in high-growth, urban areas, making green building and design accessible for middle- and low-income housing and helping build more sustainable cities.
  • EDGE holds incredible promise; deployed at scale, it will help make progress toward sustainability for all.

Updated October 2016

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