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Green Building Wars Rage

green buildingThe Green Globes rating system is “greenwash,” according to an open letter to the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) board of directors.

The letter, spearheaded by Greenwash Action, a joint initiative of Sierra Club and Greenpeace, and signed by several environmental and green building groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and International Living Future Institute, urges GBI to stop attacking LEED and calls GBI’s Green Globes into question.

“Either strengthen Green Globes so that it embodies the same level of performance (or better) as LEED in the areas in which Green Globes is relatively weak, or reposition it and be forthright about the fact that it is not equivalent to more rigorous rating systems like LEED and the Living Building Challenge,” it says.

It follows closely on the heels of a GBI-funded study from Drexel University that found the Green Globes certification process is significantly less expensive to conduct and faster to complete than LEED certification.

Since 2006, when the Canadian-based Green Globes standard first launched in the US, it’s been gunning for its US-based rival. The GSA’s October decision to recommend the Green Globes building standard as an alternative to LEED, for federal buildings outside the GSA portfolio, proved a significant win for the upstart certification. Two months later, in another victory for the Green Globes, the US Department of Defense decided to allow its facilities to use the green building certification program.



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One thought on “Green Building Wars Rage

  1. To set the record clear, the Green Building Initiative is a national standards development organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Our green building standard for new construction (2010) is the only national standard for nonresidential construction accredited by ANSI. GBI does not “attack” other organizations or standards. We offer a competitive alternative suite of green building rating systems that many organizations use to execute their sustainability commitments in new construction and ongoing operations. GBI’s 2010 standard was studied for a year by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and found to be equivalent to the LEED standard in meeting Federal sustainability guidelines for new and existing buildings, hence the endorsement by GSA and the DOD last fall. We are currently updating the 2010 ANSI standard and are seeking participants in the process. Any interested party can participate, either as a committee member or stakeholder. To register your interest, go to http://www.thegbi.org and follow the ANSI links.

    Jerry Yudelson, PE, President
    Green Building Initiative

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