TABLE 2.2 A Comparison of the Four Levels of Certification that Are Used by Green Globes and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LEED Green Globes
Certified—26 to 32 points (>37%) One Globe (>35%)
Silver—33 to 38 points (>47%) Two Globes (>55%)
Gold—39 to 51 points (>56%) Three Globes (>70%)
Platinum—52 to 69 points (>75%) Four Globes (>85%)
SOURCE: Bryan and Skopek (2008).

Other differences included incorporation of life-cycle emissions data (including the supply chain for production of resource inputs) by Green Globes. Green Globes also accepted four different forest certification systems, while LEED accepted only one forest certification system.4

Wang et al. (2012) prepared a review of three green building certification systems (LEED, Green Globes, and the Living Building Challenge) for the GSA in accord with EISA 2007. EISA required a review of the systems every 5 years to identify and reassess improved or higher ratings. EISA identified criteria to be used in reviewing the certification systems; however, the cost-effectiveness of the rating systems was not a criterion.

Wang et al. reviewed the systems as they aligned with 27 federal requirements related to new high-performance green buildings and 28 requirements related to existing buildings. The authors found that for new buildings, the Green Globes-NC system aligned with 25 of the 27 federal requirements, while LEED-NC aligned with 20 of the 27 requirements. For existing buildings, Green Globes CIEB aligned with 22 of 28 federal requirements, while LEED-EB aligned with 27 of the 28 requirements (Wang et al., 2012). The authors also stated that

None of the systems discussed in this report ensures that a building will meet Federal sustainable design requirements (once certified), or that the building will perform optimally. Federal sector high-performance sustainable design and operations requirements can be met without the use of a green building certification system. At the same time, certification systems have been identified as useful tools by users when they are documenting, tracking, and reporting a building’s progress toward the Federal requirements. The determination of which, if any, certification system to use depends on the user’s goals (p. ii).


4 At both meetings of the NRC Committee on Energy-Efficiency and Sustainability Standards Used by the DOD for Military Construction and Repair, representatives of several different organizations submitted comments on this issue and others related to the credit systems used in LEED and Green Globes as they relate to forest certification (see Appendix B). The committee considered this issue to be outside the scope of the statement of task.

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