The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED is a voluntary certification program that can be applied to any building type and any building lifecycle phase. It promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in key areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design and Regional Priority. For more information about what LEED measures, visit this USGBC web page.
Green Globes®, in our opinion, is an alternative to the LEED® rating program, and may be a good alternative for small new construction projects or existing buildings.
The Green Globes website gives the following descriptionof their program: Green Globes is a green building guidance and assessment program that offers an effective, practical and affordable way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings.
Essential elements of the Green Globes system include:
The Green Globes software tools and ratings/certification system ensures that environmental impacts are comprehensively assessed on a 1,000 point scale in multiple environmental assessment categories:
After achieving a threshold of at least 35% of the total number of 1,000 points, new and existing commercial buildings can be certified for their environmental achievements and sustainability by pursuing Green Globes certification that assigns a rating of one to four globes.
Highly qualified third-party assessors (with expertise in green building design, engineering, construction and facility operations) conveniently interface with project teams and building owners during the third-party assessment process by reviewing building documentation and conducting on-site walk throughs. Green Globes rating/certification is suitable and practically attainable for a wide range of commercial buildings, and enables building owners to credibly market their environmental responsibility to shareholders, tenants, and the broader community.
Our clients are building owners, architects, contractors, government agencies, school districts, developers and real estate trusts. Who hires us depends on the type of project, how it's being built and the client's priority for sustainable design excellence.