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Great News for GBI and Green Globes

Oct 2013

It is creating a buzz in the design community!  GSA has made its announcement that Green Globes is being added to the list of acceptable Green Building Rating systems for federal projects.  After 17 months of evaluation of LEED®, Green Globes®, and the Living Building Challenge, GSA has decided to continue to accept LEED, and has added the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes as another acceptable green building rating system.

The Federal government owns approximately 445,000 buildings with a total of 3.0 billion square feet, in addition to leasing another 57,000 buildings comprising  374 million square feet of floor space.  These structures and their sites affect the natural environment, the economy, and the productivity of occupants that use these buildings.  Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership High Performance and Sustainable Buildings have been developed to address the sustainability and efficiency of federal buildings.  These include employment of integrated design principles, optimization of energy performance, protect and conserve water, enhance indoor environmental quality, and reduce environmental impact of materials.

The Green Building Initiative has completed a robust update to the Green Globes - New Construction module, including addressing the Federal Government’s Guiding Principles.  The principles resulted from an Executive Order and require compliance by federal buildings within specific timeframes to meet the principles and energy and water reduction goals.  Meeting these principles is necessary, as compliance is tied to the funding of future projects.  Therefore, the update to Green Globes assists Federal clients in meeting the required Executive Order.

In addition, the Green Globes electronic platform provides an opportunity to evaluate a building project as it changes throughout the design process.  The electronic survey is based upon a series of questions that when complete, generates a report of recommendations to improve the sustainable features of a given project.  This is a way to self-evaluate a project prior to going through the third party assessment process and allows for incremental improvement, prior to assessment if desired.  The third party assessment process provides not only an opportunity for certification, but additional recommendations for improvement that are specific to the building project.

Green Globes - Continual Improvement for Existing Buildings (CIEB) includes a similar electronic survey, but focuses on the operations and maintenance of an existing facility.   This electronic tool also provides immediate feedback when responses to the answered survey questions are provided.  Similar to New Construction, recommendations specific to a facility will also be provided during and after the third party assessment process.

The Green Building Initiative has also developed a Green Globes-CIEB for Healthcare based upon 21 pilot assessments of VA hospitals.  This tool is provided to address the unique operational and complex facility aspects of healthcare settings.  The VA continued to utilize this tool to assess a substantial number of facilities within their 170+ hospital network.  This is applicable to not only public healthcare facilities, but also the private sector.  As systems are evaluating reduction of operational costs coupled with reduction of risks and adverse events, the Green Globes - CIEB for Healthcare is a valuable tool for supporting healthcare facilities striving to be patient-centered, operationally viable, and sustainable.