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Green Globes Now Free for GBI Members; Will USGBC Respond?

The Green Building Initiative (“GBI”) made an interesting announcement today with respect to its Green Globes green building rating system. GBI will now offer the use of Green Globes for free to GBI member firms. Unlimited use of the system is available for a membership cost of $2,500/year. A $500 membership provides access to the system for one project, while $1,500 nets three.

As I’ve described it previously, Green Globes is web-based rating tool that evaluates buildings on a 1,000 point scale across similar credit categories as LEED. It’s generally less expensive than LEED, and many in the industry recommend its use on smaller projects. The system allows a project team to receive real-time feedback about the likely number of points that the proposed design will receive- along with recommendations for increased performance- from any location with an Internet connection. While Green Globes will now provide this initial web-based assessment for free for GBI members, third-party verification (which allows a project to call itself a recipient of however many Green Globes) is not included- this additional cost is approximately $4,000 to $5,000 per project.

Competition between green building rating systems is a good thing. As GBI points out, there are eighty-one million buildings in the United States and it would be foolish to assume that any one particular system could possibly work for every single project. I’m curious to see whether USGBC responds to this announcement by reducing LEED certification costs in some way. (Though on January 1, 2007, USGBC announced that it would refund the certification fees of any project that achieved LEED Platinum, as well as provide free registration under LEED for Existing Buildings for projects already certified under LEED for New Construction or LEED for Core and Shell).

4 Responses to Green Globes Now Free for GBI Members; Will USGBC Respond?

  1. Seth Miller May 7, 2007 at 11:51 pm #

    Battle of the greens
    A rival to the popular LEED program emerges
    Portland Business Journal – May 4, 2007by Wendy CulverwellBusiness Journal staff writer

    A young Portland company aims to break the monopoly the powerful U.S. Green Building Council wields when it comes to certifying sustainable buildings.

  2. Anthony January 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    My issue with LEED has always been it’s practical applicability to urban renovation projects. I applaud LEED for new construction, but it falls apart for restoration of existing buildings. I had hoped that the newer LEED for Renovations would cover some of the gaps, but it didn’t.

    Some examples:
    LEED requires the demolition of interior non-party walls to determine the insulation rating. This *must* be done, creating landfill waste, even if you generate *all* of you heating/cooling with renewable sources. Crazy.

    Green Globes tends to weight energy production very highly, which rewards the homeowner who generates most/all her heat with renewable sources.

    Also, Green Globes doesn’t penalize you for “Not Applicable” items. If I have no landscaping, why would I need an efficient landscape watering system?

    Looking forward to further news regarding Green Globes. Article on LEED here:


  3. Brad January 31, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    How do you get involved in LEED? If I want my home to be LEED certified what do I do? Is there like a test or course to find out more about LEED?

  4. Troy February 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm #


    A great way to learn more about LEED is to become LEED certified. You can learn everything you want to know about LEED on this website LEED CERTIFICATION PREP COURSE. Once you get involved in LEED you truly never want to do anything else!

    Thanks for joining the LEED community,


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