The Digital Age Streamlines Green Building Certification Processes Sustainable Investment Group

The Digital Age Streamlines Green Building Certification Processes

January 28, 2014

Harper-Elliott_bldg

Before joining SIG, Asa Posner, Senior Sustainability Consultant, LEED AP, coordinated the Green Globe certification process for the Harper-Elliott dormitory at University of South Carolina.
Photo credit: University of South Carolina

The two most popular green building certifications are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Globes. These programs give building owners, comprehensive green building standards, criteria for sustainable building design and energy efficient operations. Here is a comparison of the key features of both green building programs, as well as advice on how to achieve green building certifications more efficiently by using experienced consultants.

LEED Verifies Sustainable Building Design, Construction, and Operations

The demand for environmental accountability across all industries paved the way for the U.S. Green Building Council to establish the LEED rating systems. The current standards were developed over years of progressive input from industry experts and a consensus vote by it’s membership. LEED provides a platform for third party verification that a building’s design and construction practices promote environmental sustainability. Its top focus areas include responsible resource management, efficient water use, and the reduction of carbon emissions. LEED is an internationally recognized mark of excellence. The LEED ratings of certified, silver, gold, and platinum are used to quantify level of achievement on a 110 point scale on top of prerequisites in each of the 5 core categories.

Green Globes Automates Verification of Eco-Friendly Building Characteristics

Green Globes is an alternative to the LEED green building program which Canada and the United States use extensively. While it contains many of the same rigorous criteria on energy savings, reduction in carbon footprint, and water conservation for existing and new construction projects, Green Globes automates the assessment and certification processes using web based tools and flexible formats to accommodate any size building project. There are no prerequisites. Through its use of proprietary software tools Green Globes provides users with a way to build sustainability into the design process from start to finish. Some construction company executives cite the major stumbling block to obtaining a green building certification is the lengthy time taken to get through the certification process. The Green Globes program’s interactive model is designed to save builders both time and money during the assessment and certification process.

Conclusion

Green Globes and LEED certification programs give companies the assurance that their facilities meet the highest green standards in the industry. Because buildings designed with sustainability in mind are great for the environment and for long term business profitability, industry experts project that the green building industry will continue to boom. While Green Globes is attractive with the online process, in-person verification, and no prerequisites, LEED continues to win out as the green stamp of approval for many building types and in many markets.

portrait of Asa Posner

SIG’s Asa Posner, Senior Sustainability Consultant, LEED AP

For those developers and building owners that are inclined to obtain a green building certification, eco-friendly building consultants like Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) help by walking their clients through the process to get them certified in the most efficient way. SIG’s team of sustainability consultants and LEED accredited professionals are highly experienced with the LEED certification process, and senior consultants like Asa Posner have also worked on successful Green Globes certification projects. You hire a consultant for their experience – the been there, done that and the fact that they bring tremendous resources of an entire firm to the table.

To learn more about Green Globes, click here. To see how LEED is changing the built environment, click here.

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