Don’t be fooled by the name.

When people like us talk about verifying your construction project, we don’t mean confirming you’ve achieved net zero carbon emissions. Our certification process, which we explain elsewhere on this site, will do that.

Nor does verification involve us checking in detail your calculations concerning how much carbon your building will emit.

No. Verification, in our world, is a high-level process which involves us confirming you’re following the correct industry standards, governance procedures and mechanisms. That way, the amount of carbon your building emits can eventually be determined with accuracy and the figure regarded as authoritative.

It’s much more an overview of the processes you’re following than a delve into the weeds of your project.

Verification is essential as, for example, it avoids you shouting about your finished building being zero-carbon, only to end up wiping the egg off your face – and probably seeing the demand for, and value of, your property fall too – when it emerges you’ve overlooked something important in reaching that judgement.

A typical verification project consists of three broad stages:

  • Concept. That’s where we take the highest-level overview, in advising you of anything important you’ve failed to include at this early stage.
  • Design. At this point, we’d normally expect you to provide much more detailed material, such as calculation outputs, assessments, specifications and drawings.
  • Built. Here, we need evidence that you’ve delivered what you intended, such as proof of goods being bought in the right quantities. The authentication needed could be in the form of orders, receipts, site delivery records, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), energy use confirmations and carbon production certifications, among other documents.

Accredited verifiers like us must be independent. That means our role on the projects we verify has to be extremely limited, to avoid the danger of us marking our own homework. So, while we can certainly advise clients on project targets or carbon credits and point them in the direction of relevant materials on our education page, for example, we can’t make detailed calculations for them or give them operational advice about the job we’re verifying, though we may, of course, play these roles for them on other projects.

Despite this limited involvement, verification doesn’t mean us just sitting on a high horse, passing judgement on clients. It’s very much a collaborative process. If a client doesn’t have an ideal piece of evidence, such as an EPD – which usually contains the most current carbon factor information available about a product – we’ll gladly advise them on acceptable alternatives, which can include documents such as health product declarations.

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While most verification work we do relates to particular projects, it’s becoming increasingly common for organisations such as large developers to request this service in relation to their sub-contractors, applied on a whole-business basis. There’s an authorised and approved methodology we use for this task, which involves us examining factors such as a sub-contractor’s offices, staffing and travel, so please just let us know if you’d like us to verify any such businesses supplying services to you.