Research on CASBEE

–  By S. Wong, M2 student

I started my research on CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), the green building rating system of Japan about a year ago. (Read previous post here) With the research results, I was able to complete my thesis and I am due for graduation this month. I owe the success of the research to Abe sensei, my lab members and all those who had kindly participated in our interview and questionnaire surveys.

Overall, my research findings show that CASBEE’s adoption in the Japanese building market is limited. We also observed significant differences in the perspectives between the residential and the nonresidential sectors. The residential sector responded more negatively when asked if CASBEE brings business and environmental benefits, and demonstrated less practical use of CASBEE. There are two main challenges of utilizing CASBEE. First, insufficient publicity has contributed to lack of awareness of CASBEE among the general public, which explains the low demands for CASBEE projects. Second, the complex nature of the CASBEE system (standards, certification process etc.) imposes time and cost burden on building owners, designers and contractors.

I personally find it such a shame that CASBEE is not as widely known by the public in Japan as other green building or energy-saving incentive schemes. Although most of the CASBEE Accredited Professionals who responded to our surveys believe CASBEE is beneficial for the society and are motivated to use CASBEE in practice, in reality, the market for CASBEE appears to be underdeveloped. Perhaps what CASBEE needs is proper brand-building. Just as the ‘US-made’ LEED has become synonymous with green building in the US (and globally), wouldn’t it be nice if the ‘Japanese-made’ CASBEE becomes just as recognizable in Japan?

The summaries of our questionnaire surveys (in Japanese only) can be downloaded here:   report1   report2