TABLE 2.1 Possible Green Globe Points for New Construction and Points Received for an Example Building

Assessment Area Points Possible Example Building  
Energy 380 228  
Water 85 28  
Resources 100 34  
Emissions 70 36  
Indoor environment 200 124  
Project management 50 45  
Site 115 45  
Total 1,000 550  
SOURCE: Green Globes (2012).

globes. Thus, the example building in Table 2.1 achieved more than 55 percent of the points possible and certification at the level of two green globes.

The Green Globes certification is based upon a Web-based, interactive questionnaire and a third-party onsite assessment. The third-party assessment can also include review of compliance with Executive Order 13423, Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings. In addition, Green Globes life-cycle assessment credit calculator is offered to help architects and engineers understand various life-cycle environmental impacts of building assemblies (Air Quality Sciences, 2009).


A 2006 report published by the University of Minnesota found that “given their common roots and similar goals … more similarities than differences exist” between the two systems (Smith et al., 2006, p. 2). Nonetheless, the authors concluded that noteworthy differences in process and content remain. The two systems attach differing values to certain aspects of green building, expressed by moderately dissimilar point allocations, especially at the lower levels of assessment.

For example, LEED requires a minimum performance level in categories such as energy use, erosion control, and indoor air quality, among others, while similar action in Green Globes earns points toward certification. Different strategies of point allocations translate into trade-offs between flexibility and prescription between the two systems (Smith et al., 2006).

Bryan and Skopek (2008) attempted to compare the environmental attributes of the LEED-NC and the Green Globes-New Construction systems by looking at seven dual-certified buildings and their official submission summaries. They noted that the two systems addressed slightly different levels of detail but had a similar rating nomenclature, as shown in Table 2.2. (It is important to note that Bryan and Skopek reviewed LEED when it was still a 69-point system, not the current 100-point system.)

The authors found that although both systems were similar in regards to the number of credits and point assignments to each category, LEED had six categories while Green Globes had seven. In addition, LEED had an innovative and design process category, while Green Globes had a category for project management (Bryan and Skopek, 2008).

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