Green Building Institute Announces Green Globes® Update (a/k/a There Is More to Life Than LEED®?)

Green Globes is a green building certification system that evolved from BREEAM (UK building certification system). The Green Building Initiative (GBI), which is responsible for developing Green Globes in the United States, presents it as more affordable and less bureaucratic than LEED (green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council).

GBI  recently announced a major update to Green Globes for New Construction.  It described the changes as including:

  • New criteria developed by ANSI-approved consensus body
  • Increased focus on Energy…  4 paths for energy performance
  • Increased focus on Materials & Resources
    • Emphasis on life cycle assessment
    • A new approach assessing building assemblies, furnishings, finishes and fit-outs by utilizing multi-attribute certifications, and/or third-party assessments by approved standards development organizations
  • Complete coverage of the federal government’s Guiding Principles for New Construction with a report detailing level of compliance.

ANSI Criteria.  The incorporation of ANSI criteria involves coming full circle:  ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, which was developed through an ANSI approved consensus process, was derived from Green Globes.  In turn, Green Globes is now being updated to incorporate criteria from the ANSI standard.

Energy Performance.  As with most green building certification programs, energy efficiency is a major focus.  Green Globes now allows users to choose from four compliance paths:

  •  Path A:  ENERGY STAR®
  •  Path B:  ASHRAE 90.1‑2010
  • Path C:  NC/GBI 01‑2010 energy performance building carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e)
  • Path D:  ASHRAE building energy quotient (bEQ)

Guiding Principles.  The focus on the federal government’s Guiding Principles (criteria for high performance/sustainable buildings) provides another avenue for Green Globes to try to differentiate itself from LEED.  Keying off the mandate that federal agencies commit to implementing the Guiding Principles, in addition to incorporating them into Green Globes, GBI is offering a report assessing compliance with the Guiding Principles.

Visit the GBI website for more information.

Vicki R. Harding, Esq.

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