The HQE ® certificate was introduced in 2005 by the "Association pour la Haute Qualité Environnementale" (ASSOHQE), which was founded in 1996 in Paris. It was originally aimed at the renovation and refurbishment of existing office and school buildings, but was later further developed for the assessment of residential buildings. Today, its application is mostly seen in French residential construction. However, international orientation is an aim. The number of projects certified world-wide is ca. 380.000 (http://www.behqe.com/fr/hqe-dans-le-monde/cartographie-des-projets).
To assure quality in the HQE ® method, an assessment is carried out after each phase – commissioning, draft and completion – which is then used as a basis for certification.
Three levels can be achieved in the certification process: