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Icelandic Green Building Council

Role and objectives

The Icelandic Green Building Council (IGBC) was formally established on the 23rd of February 2010. More than 38 companies and public organisations have already become members. The goal is to increase the number of members even further over the next few years.

IGBC is a venue for companies, municipalities and public entities in the construction sector with the common goal of increasing the use of sustainable construction methods and land-use planning. The principal objective of the Green Building Council is to be a leading venue in the field of sustainable development in land-use planning, design, constructions, operation and maintenance of installations in Iceland. Furthermore, it is the role of the IGBC to formulate suggestions for Icelandic policies and lead the discussion on sustainable development in the construction sector.  

IGBC goals are to:

•    Define the Icelandic criteria for sustainable constructions with the objective to make it easier for planners, developers and designers to develop sustainable constructions

•    Support the professional debate and research in the field of sustainable construction and land use planning

•    Increase the awareness of the public and interested parties in Iceland regarding sustainable land-use planning and construction.

•    Engage in co-operation with foreign counterparts with the goal of sharing experience and taking advantage of knowledge gained in other countries.

It is important for such a small nation to join hands in regards to progress in the field of sustainble efforts in the construction sector. Therefore, it is vital to utilise the knowledge available in various parts of the world while at the same time adapting methods and technology from other countries to Icelandic conditions.

International and Nordic co-operation
IGBC’s role models are the Green Building Councils, some of which are also members of the World Green Building Council established in 2002. (see

WGBC is an independent council whose primary goal is to facilitate the development of sustainable design in the global construction industry and to be the international voice for sustianable values and development in construction. The association provides members with assistance and information, ensures that their work is effective and that they work together and share knowledge and experience amongst themselves. It is precisely this role that the Icelandic Green Building Council plays  in Iceland, i.e. in bringing parties together and sharing experience and knowledge, in particular concerning adaptations to Icelandic conditions which are somewhat unique, particularly as regards to renewable energy use which is based on the utilisation of geothermal energy and hydropower for heating buildings

The Icelandic Green Building Council  has had excellent working relations with the Nordic councils with particular attention being paid to co-operation in research and the development of various certification systems for buildings and land-use planning. VBR is firmly committed to maintaining good relations with its counterparts in the Nordic countries and is at the same time, an important point of contact for organisations who are members of VBR. The cooperation of the Nordic Green Building Councils includes holding the joint conference of the Nordic Green Building Councils  every other year.
Furthermore, IGBC’s role is also to encourage the authorities and organisations within the market to sharpen their focus in the field of sustainable design and land-use planning, such as by providing opinions on acts of law and regulations.

In general, the association operates on two levels. On the one hand is the internal work, performed for the most part in independent working groups addressing defined issues, and on the other, disseminating general knowledge about ecological methods and focus points to the public. This is done through a dynamic website and open meetings where issues are debated. In the event that IGBC holds courses, these will be in co-operation with various educational institutions.


For further information please contact our Managing Director, Þórhildur Fjóla Kristjánsdóttir,

by e-mail: or by phone: +354 692 2202 (mobile).

The office of  the Icelandic Green Building Council (Vistbyggðarráð in Icelandic) is located in Reykjavík.