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New building certification could seriously challenge LEED

By Building Magazine


New upgrades to a building certification program may very well lure developers and building owners who are thinking of obtaining a green certification for their projects away from LEED.

ECD Energy and Environment Canada announced the release of significant upgrades to the Green Globes for New Construction Canada program since its introduction in 2004. The new version is based on a Canadian adaptation of ANSI standard: ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, as well as other recognized standards.

In addition to being a certification, Green Globes also offers guidance for design teams to carry out the integrated design process from goal setting to construction documents. According to the web-based program, it is a user-friendly and affordable alternative certification to LEED because it can be done largely “in-house” by the design team, and uses a streamlined verification process based on a review of actual working documents such as drawings, specifications, plans and calculations. Certification occurs at two stages: at the Design stage and Post Construction.

Energy requirements are for 30 to 50 per cent savings over the ANSI/ASHRAE/ISNEA standard 90.1 and the Model National Energy Code for Buildings. Bonus points have been introduced for buildings that obtain the highest levels of energy performance, such as zero net energy or 51 per cent reduction in CO2e emissions. “If you want to put a building on a carbon diet, Green Globes is the way to do it” says David Charles Stewart, an energy consultant in Nova Scotia, who serves on the Green Globes Technical Committee, and who helped to adapt the ANSI criteria to Canadian climate zones, based on energy modeling and carbon calculations.

The Materials & Resources section addresses the selection of products and offers a choice of paths that includes full life cycle assessment, multi-attribute certifications, and third-party certified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), placing Green Globes at the vanguard of green rating programs with respect to the specification of materials and products.

“Professionals will be impressed by the ease of use of the online Green Globes evaluation system, and by the overall program flexibility and adaptability” said Craig Riley, Regional Business Line Leader, Sustainability at URS Corporation. “The Green Globes certification process is robust and efficient and helps to develop greening strategies during the integrated design and construction process.”

“The new Green Globes reflects major advances in building science and an enhanced user interface experience.” says Jiri Skopek, who coordinated the Green Globes Canadian Technical Committee. “What has not changed is that it still provides a transparent, web-based survey, and a streamlined verification process, which make it the most user-friendly and affordable certification system on the market.”

Source building magazine. December 5, 2013.

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