After a three-year process of open dialogue and consensus-based decision making, Green Building Initiative (GBI) is nearing the end of a process that will result in an update to its American National Standard, which was finalized in 2010 and informed the creation of the 2013 version of Green Globes. ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings is undergoing final revisions using American National Standard Institute (ANSI) approved procedures and participation from approximately 100 experts in green building and sustainable practices. To maintain transparency, meetings are open to the public and three rounds of public comments on the Standard generated more than 800 comments to date. The process will conclude in 2018 resulting in a completely revised American National Standard to be titled: Green Globes Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings.
“We’ve been really impressed by the level of participation as we watched the industry update this Standard for green building certification,” states Vicki Worden, president & CEO of GBI. “We’re excited to work collaboratively with other organizations on education to advance new concepts and best practices that are included in the revision.”
Green Globes is a leading sustainability rating system for commercial and multi-family buildings. Recognized for its ease of use, inherent flexibility, and customization, Green Globes can be applied to virtually every building type and use. To ensure diversity among the building types and geographic locations participating in the pilot program, GBI offered subsidized involvement for a select number of participants. Current pilot projects include:
- Federal government warehouse in West Virginia
- K-12 school in Florida
- Mixed use property in New York
- Federal government office in Texas
- Multifamily residential property in Georgia
While only one subsidized spot is still available, the pilot is open to all new construction and major renovation projects. The GBI invites interested building owners and design teams to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about pilot program participation and certification under the new Standard.
A unique aspect of Green Globes certification is that a highly qualified Green Globes Assessor is assigned to each project and provides a customized report on achievements and opportunities for improvement. During the pilot program, Assessors are involved upfront as guides and interpreters of the new criteria. Donald Martin, a licensed architect, principal of Marston Design Studio and pilot project Assessor, likes the enhancements from the ANSI Consensus Body. “Green Globes has hit that sweet spot of increasing rigor of the Standard while maintaining realistic expectations,” Martin says.
Revisions to the Standard include:
- The introduction of new sections and criteria such as:
- A section dedicated to Site and Building Resilience.
- A section on Resource Conservation addresses minimized use of raw materials and encourages designing for deconstruction.
- Moisture Control Analysis as a method of limiting risk of building non-performance.
- Building Risk Assessment criteria, which spurs teams to review the site for hazards like weather, flooding, soil stability, and earthquake potential and put together emergency response plans.
- Indoor Domestic Plumbing includes four paths to earn points including the new Path D for Major Renovations.
- Three paths allow users to choose between three options for assessing projected energy performance.
- Non-Modeled Energy Efficiency Impacts are assessed and Metering, Monitoring, and Measurement have been revamped to further incentivize sub-metering.
- The use of a Resource Management Plan and verification of actual performance are encouraged, and there are incentives to incorporate renewable sources of energy.
- Projects need to attain a minimum 20% score in each Assessment Area to receive certification, but consistent with Green Globes’ reputation for flexibility, users are free to choose the criteria within the assessment areas that are most relevant to their projects.
Pilot project Assessor Eric Truelove, a licensed engineer and principal of Green Building Resources, looks forward to seeing the new guidelines implemented through GBI’s supportive online software tool.
“One thing GBI has consistently done well is collect input from users and put that to work in the certification process,” says Truelove. “Green Globes offers a superior delivery mechanism with a user-friendly system that doesn’t simply tell people what to do, it shows them how to do it. This is something users highly value, as it helps them put their green building aspirations into practice.”
The new pilot builds upon Green Globes’ reputation as a clear and accessible third-party green building rating system. In just the past 5 years, GBI has certified over 850 Green Globes projects in the United States. Green Globes has gained enormous traction in the industry over the last two years, showing a 118% increase in certified buildings from 2015 to 2016, and a 74% increase from 2016 to 2017. Major national brands such as Whole Foods, Fidelity, and MGM Resorts are part of the expanding base of GBI clients that are leveraging Green Globes certification for achieving their portfolio sustainability goals.