Green Building Initiative Hails New U.S. Department of Energy Rule

The rule recommends the level of two Green Globes for new federal buildings and major renovations of federal buildings for which green-building certification is sought.

The Green Building Initiative (GBI), provider of the Green Globes system, hailed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oct. 10 final rule recommending the level of two Green Globes for new federal buildings and major renovations of federal buildings for which green-building certification is sought.

Required under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the rule also requires, among other criteria:

  • That the criteria and measurement metrics of rating systems used by the federal government be independently verified.
  • The federal government use rating systems developed by certification organizations that provide opportunities for public comment, as well as development and revision through a consensus-based process.
  • That the federal government use rating systems that are nationally recognized within the building industry.

“This ruling confirms what we have been saying for the past year, that the Green Globes system is equal in every way to the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) system for the purpose of rating federal building projects,” Jerry Yudelson, president of the GBI, said. “We’re pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy’s criteria closely match how the Green Globes system actually works.”

Green Globes uses the services of independent assessors and utilizes the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) national consensus process in developing tools for new construction and major renovations. In September, the GBI created an ANSI-approved “consensus body” to update and refine its 2010 national standard for commercial buildings.

“We expect that the ANSI consensus body will take a close look at the DOE requirement for monitoring and reporting energy and water performance in federal buildings at least every four years and will seek to incorporate that requirement into the new standard not only for federal buildings, but for all buildings certified using the Green Globes green-building rating system,” Yudelson said.

The new DOE rule also allows federal agencies, in lieu of formal third-party certification, to pursue compliance with guiding principles for sustainability compiled in a 2008 document and called for in Executive Order 13514, issued by President Obama in 2009. The GBI is the sole provider of a Guiding Principles Compliance rating system for federal agencies and certifies federal projects, both existing and new construction, as to their degree of compliance with the guiding principles. Also, the GBI trains and certifies federal employees as Guiding Principles Compliance professionals.

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