In late 2013, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) provided its recommendations for the federal government’s use of green building rating systems. For the first time, the GSA presented two sustainable certification options for government agencies to choose from:
U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes 2010
Since most sustainable discussions surround the LEED rating system, in this blog, a ‘green’ certification alternative will be highlighted and analyzed – the Green Globes.
The New Alternative – Green Globes
Green Globes, originally introduced to the United States in 2004, is an interactive, flexible and affordable alternative to the LEED building rating system. This alternative uses an on-line approach certification process that is structured as a self-assessment. Completed in-house using a project manager and design team, the questionnaire-based system is equipped with helpful tips and applicable technical tables needed to reply.
Unlike the LEED building rating system, the Green Globes provide recognition of a facility’s dedication to sustainability through third-party verification. Construction drawings, specifications, energy modeling, life cycle analysis, records of meetings and any sustainable plans are required in the project submittal.
Comparing Green Globes to LEED
There is no right way or wrong way to choose your certification process. As a decision maker with sustainable facility goals and new certification options, you have to determine which process works best for your facility. Luckily for you, some of the homework has already been done.
According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the GSA is required to review these systems to recommend the rating system that would most likely deliver high performance and green objectives for federal buildings. The review had two key findings:
Green Globes aligns with more federal requirements for new construction than LEED
LEED aligns with more federal requirements for existing buildings than Green Globes
Click on a sustainable federal project thumbnail above to view the profile
Building Your ‘Green’ Team
Although these generalizations offer great insight into how you should start thinking about sustainable certification, each project is unique. By collaborating with Green Globe Professionals and LEED Certified Professionals, expert insight can help you identify which rating system parallels with your facility performance goals.
In the best case scenario, you can benefit greatly with an expert that is both a Green Globes Professional and a LEED Accredited Professional. This expert and their integrated team can provide a 360° approach to achieving sustainable goals with the right certification system for your upcoming project.
By adding individuals to your team with familiarity and expertise with your new options, you can enter your next project with a great deal of certainty and mitigated risk.
Would you like to consult with Green Globes and LEED professionals to discuss your sustainable options for your upcoming or existing federal facility? Feel free to start the conversation by contacting Haskell's government facility expert, Mark Higby. If you are not ready to speak to Mark directly, take a moment to browse our sustainable federal projects by clicking on the project thumbnails above.