Green Globes vs LEED
08 29 2017
Arium is now Green Globes certified and is actively providing consulting services on projects. Green Globes is a nationally recognized green rating assessment, guidance, and certification program similar to LEED.
The Green Globes program is currently gaining popularity with the Federal Government but is active at all levels of the building industry. It was initially developed in Canada as an extension of an existing rating system called BREEAM from the United Kingdom and has been licensed here in the states by the Green Building Initiative since 2004.
There are Green Globes modules for:
- New Construction/Significant Renovations
- Commercial Interiors (i.e. Office Fit-ups)
- Existing Buildings (offices, multi-residential, retail, health care, light industrial).
The Green Globes New Construction assessment can be used for a wide range of commercial, institutional and multi-residential building types including offices, school, hospitals, hotels, academic and industrial facilities, warehouses, laboratories, sports facilities and multi-residential buildings.
Similar but different from LEED
A LEED project will either be Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified. A Green Globe project is designated by Four to One Globes with Four being the highest, similar to LEED Platinum.
Both standards cover similar criteria and goals: improved energy and water efficiency, site sustainability, indoor air quality and occupant health.
Unlike LEED, Green Globes has no prerequisites for certification. Prerequisites can be a challenge for buildings that are having trouble meeting criteria. In Green Globes, if an item is not applicable the project in question. The system has built-in protection for non-applicable points or criteria.
The process for Green Globes is unique in that it relies on the project team to document the various points involved and allows for them to complete straight forward online surveys. The process is more flexible as to which certifications are appropriate for the project.
The documentation and backup process are the responsibility of the team as they do not complete lengthy point applications as with LEED. However, every Green Globes process is audited before certification by a Green Globes Trained professional. At that time, the project is reviewed on-site and documentation is checked to confirm the information posted on the Green Globes surveys.
Green Globes projects tend to be less expense to certify but in our experience, the final cost is very dependent on the experience of the team involved and the context and scope of the project. While the certification process may be easier then LEED it does also have its challenges and hurdles. There are other various minor differences but the two systems generally have the same goals.
For more information on either program, visit their main website or simply reach out to Arium. We would be happy to assist.
Arium is currently consulting on a federal Green Globe Project at Fort Detrick. We have a number of Green Globe and LEED Certified Professionals able to help you with your project.
If you have any questions or need more information, let us know how we can assist.
Scott Walthour, PE, LEED BD+C, GGP (Green Globe Professional)