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Green Globes Keeps Pace with Green Marketplace
The Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system has recently made the news in a couple of different ways. In the constantly changing sustainability marketplace it’s important to understand the different tools available to product manufacturers, builders and design professionals and ways those tools are evolving to meet new demands.
Most recently, the U.S. General Services Administration, the agency responsible to managing the federal government’s real estate, evaluated and accepted Green Globes-New Construction (GG-NC) as one of two green-building rating systems deemed acceptable for federal construction projects. In addition, the GG-NC has undergone a major update that includes the evaluation of each sustainable category: project management, site, energy, water, materials and resources, emissions and other impacts, and indoor environment. A technical manual has also been developed and is available on the Green Building Initiative website.
Green Globes Electronic Tool & Relationship to ANSI/GBI 01-2010 Standard
In April, 2010, the Green Building Initiative completed the ANSI/GBI 01-2010 Standard: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. This was the first consensus-based standard for green buildings. The robust document was completed by a committed team of stakeholders and reviewed favorably by GSA as meeting the necessary sustainability requirements that closely align with the Guiding Principles established for sustainability by Executive Order. The standard was heavily referenced and used to inform the updated Green Globes – NC electronic tool completed in 2013.
In addition to utilizing the ANSI standard, additional updates were completed for the Green Globes – NC electronic survey tool. For example, the evaluation of energy paths for compliance and the completion of multiple attribute standards for interior products, such as the availability of NSF International sustainability assessment standards for flooring, furnishings, fabric, and wallcovering. Also included in the revised tool are UL Environment sustainability certifications for gypsum board, doors, and general lighting, Environmental Product Declarations (both industry wide and product family specific), and product life cycle assessments. It is necessary to continue to evaluate and provide revised tools and information for GG-NC to keep pace with the updated sustainable tools and standards that are referenced.
Although the ANSI/GBI 01-2010 Standard is referenced, the electronic survey tool is a series of questions that require responses from the user. The survey is presented in a questionnaire format that provides immediate feedback based upon the response, including recommendations for improvement. This allows the user to make improvements and/or adjustments prior to completing third party assessment, which may save valuable time and money. The Green Globes – NC is not an ANSI standard, but rather informed by the standard. The ANSI/GBI 01-2010 standard is anticipated to be reviewed and updated within a 5 year window (2015), and at the time of update and review will have the opportunity to be informed by work completed for the Green Globes – NC tool. The updated, approved standard will then be reviewed and used to complete future updates to the Green Globes – NC tool. A technical committee for the Green Globes suite of electronic survey tools is an ongoing work group available to Green Building Initiative for review and input. The ANSI Standard committee is set up specifically to work on the consensus based standard and has chairs for sub-committee work and separate meetings and conference calls. Although there may be some shared membership in both the technical committee and the ANSI committee, these are two separate initiatives.