While national and local systems of rating the environmental performance of buildings abound, trying to compare developments in different countries can be a bit like ranking apples against pears.
With this in mind, a company which specialises in matching buyers with property overseas has decided to launch a benchmark which can be applied to any property anywhere in the world.
As trust in the system is vital the company which has set it up has worked closely with environmental consultants and green building trade bodies to try to ensure it is robust and transparent.
Developers - and their agents and architects - are invited to subject their building project to stringent technical criteria by which their project will be judged.
Colin Barrett-Treen, managing director of Green Horizons, the company which has established the rating system said: "The rating system has been designed in response to a major shift in the attitudes of international property purchasers.
"In November 2007 we conducted a poll through our agents of a sample of 181 clients who have recently either bought, or have considered buying, a property overseas. Of those polled, 92% said that they would prefer to buy a property built with environmentally friendly features built in."
The system ranks both the impact of building a property and its efficiency once in operation, then awards it either a bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating.
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