The process for achieving sustainability certification does not need to be cumbersome. The primary focus for building owners, property managers, design teams, and others pursuing certification should be maximizing the sustainability, health & wellness, and resilience of their building or portfolio. The certification process itself should integrate seamlessly with building design or management, encourage ongoing improvement, and recognize innovative and impactful strategies.
GBI’s Green Globes certification offers a unique experience that provides exceptional support and transparency throughout. You’ll receive personalized guidance from a dedicated GBI Project Manager and a third-party Green Globes Assessor (GGA) but, like any new venture, there’s a learning curve. Whether you’re a Green Globes first timer or a seasoned veteran, these tips can ensure an efficient and cost-effective certification process that is seamless and rewarding.
The Green Globes for New Construction assessment and certification process is intended to run parallel with the building design and construction process. The closer you can align the start of design and certification, the better, for three key reasons:
- The Green Globes for New Construction Project Management Environmental Assessment Area incentivizes an integrated project team comprising multiple disciplines, to ensure that sustainability is integrated into all aspects of design and construction. Projects teams that set and discuss sustainability goals early are eligible for credit that can be earned only if this planning takes place. Unlike other criteria, you can’t go back in and add it later, so best to start early.
- Energy and water consumption, in addition to material selection are also heavily weighted criteria, which are most impactful if discussed early in design. Much of a building is designed around these components, so evaluating these strategies early in design can significantly improve the overall sustainability of your building.
- The third-party Preliminary Assessment performed by the assigned GGA is most valuable if completed during design. The assessor’s report will contain personalized recommendations that may be feasible to incorporate into design to improve the building’s sustainability as well as its Green Globes score.
Organize your Documentation.
While it sounds obvious, organization is crucial to a seamless certification, especially when multiple disciplines are collaborating on the Green Globes online questionnaire. Take the time at the beginning to set up a filing structure within your preferred document repository, with folder names corresponding to the environmental assessment areas. And while you’re at it, name files simply and appropriately. You’ll thank yourself later.
Maximize Use of the Online Questionnaire.
The Green Globes Online Questionnaire is an intuitive and interactive tool delivered through the Green Globes online software platform that translates the Green Globes criteria from GBI’s ANSI approved Standards into a question set with scored responses. Your projected score updates as you progress through the questionnaire, providing transparency on the eventual rating your project could achieve. Not ready to pursue certification? Anyone can obtain a free, unscored trial version of the questionnaire, while project registration unlocks scoring and full access to all platform features. Start by creating a new project here!
The online questionnaire is:
- Collaborative – Invite contributors to participate as an integrated project team.
- Efficient – Clone responses for buildings across a portfolio or for recertification.
- Robust – Import energy, water, waste, and emissions data for a complete performance tracking system.
- Interactive – View dynamic scoring, access criteria-specific resources, and communicate with the GGA.
Identify and Evaluate Pathway Opportunities.
GBI recognizes that sustainability for each building is not identical, but there is opportunity for sustainability in every building. Green Globes certification is holistic and robust yet flexible and accessible. It rewards projects for impactful sustainability design and operations without penalizing them for factors outside their control.
It is the difference between rigor and rigid.
Several Green Globes criteria in each program include pathways, which are intended to educate and allow project teams to implement a variety of strategies to achieve credit. The newly released Green Globes for Existing Buildings 2023 program now contains six pathways for Energy Consumption and three pathways for Water Performance. Green Globes for New Construction 2021 contains three Energy Performance Pathways and four Water Performance Pathways. Project teams can select the pathway that aligns best with their building type, location, and budget. Recognizing multiple standards, baselines, and reference points is an inclusive practice that encourages project teams to allocate their budget to meaningful strategies.
GBI is committed to providing support and tools to our community that increase access to sustainable, healthy, and resilient buildings globally. To learn more and get started, visit https://thegbi.org/why-green-globes/.