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Green Globes is an environmental assessment and rating system for buildings that was developed for the US market by the Green Building Initiative (www.thegbi.org). It grew out of a Canadian rating system for existing buildings that is based primarily on the UK's Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Green Globes was introduced in the United States in 2004 In 2010, GBI issued the first ANSI consensus standard for green buildings, known as ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. In 2014, GBI announced that Green Globes would be updated and a new version targeted for publication in 2016. In subsequent years, Green Globes will be developed using the ANSI approved Continuous Maintenance Provisions. This approach to updating the standard will allow for timely introduction of innovative and science-based criteria without the constraints of a complete update.

The online version of the rating system is delivered through a user-friendly web-based interface. Users are prompted through a series of questionnaires that relate to various stages in the process, from project concept through commissioning. Following completion of the online Green Globes-New Construction (Green Globes-NC) questionnaire, a report discussing the environmental benefits of each design strategy is automatically generated. The feedback provided to the user allows for design changes to be made prior to the beginning of construction, therefore providing greater environmental impact.

For building owners desiring a Green Globes rating, a minimum threshold of 35% of 1000 points must be achieved. Once the project is officially registered on the GBI website, the building owner is eligible to schedule a third-party review and subsequent on-site walk-through required to obtain a Green Globes rating and certification.

Green Globes is a flexible rating system that does not penalize designs when certain credit areas are not applicable. Additionally, the points available for certain credits are on a scale, so even modest yet valuable environmental measures are recognized. Further, the standard recognizes all credible forest certification programs and the environmental benefits of using bio-based materials.

In 2014, GBI launched a Guiding Principles Compliance Program for new Construction of Federal Buildings. The Guiding Principles Compliance Assessment Program is a third-party point-based assessment system, which assigns a rating to each assessed building for compliance to the Guiding Principles. After completion of a self-evaluation survey, GBI assigns a third-party assessor to perform a detailed document review and an on-site assessment of the building's features to verify compliance to the Guiding Principles. The Program is intended to assist federal agencies that elect to demonstrate compliance with Executive Order 13541 through the construction of high performance green building.

See www.thegbi.org for additional information.

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