As a principal engineer for Southland, I am responsible for the design and modeling of energy efficient buildings. Working on LEED certified projects across the country for Southland, I have been exposed to a variety of facilities with different energy goals over the years and have been invited to speak at many national industry events regarding the design and modeling of energy efficient building systems.
After working with the LEED rating systems for many years, I recently decided to obtain the designations of Guiding Principle Compliance Professional (GPCP) and Green Globes Professional (GGP) from the Green Building Initiative. GPCPs are independent agents who help building owners through the assessment and certification process and are trained and qualified to offer project management and limited technical support throughout the process. GGPs are independent agents who help building owners through the assessment and certification process and are trained and qualified to offer project management and limited technical support throughout the process. Only federal agencies are eligible to pursue Guiding Principle Compliance Certification, while both government agencies and private firms can work to achieve Green Globes Certification.
Green Globes is a web-based program for green building guidance and certification that includes an onsite assessment by a third party. Backed by excellent customer support, Green Globes offers an alternative to LEED as a way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings. Like LEED, Green Globes has many different certification programs. There are modules supporting new construction, such as Green Globes for New Construction, as well as those for existing facilities like Green Globes for Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings. Other programs address more specific requirements like Green Globes for Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings for Healthcare, and Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors.
Some notable differences between LEED and Green Globes are that:
- LEED is well established, with many areas of the country requiring some level of LEED certification; Green Globes is relatively new to North America.
- Green Globes is an American National Standards Institute standard, while LEED is not.
- LEED documentation is submitted by the customer and/or its representatives; Green Globes has a third party involved in the process.
- Green Globes certification can cost less and/or take less time than a LEED certification.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) selected Green Globes for its Atlanta-based headquarters that was completely renovated in 2008. They selected it because Green Globes provided an opportunity for continuous existing building improvements.
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