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Comparing Green Building with LEED and GREEN GLOBES

A study shows an 85 percent overlap between the major points of the two programs.

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building with cement and carbon footprint reduction The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, founded in 1998, is perhaps the most widely known green building initiative, but a newer effort, the Green Globes by the Green Building Initiative, is gaining ground.

A University of Minnesota study showed an 85 percent overlap between the major points of the two programs, adding that several projects have achieved dual certification by going through both processes.

U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a holistic approach to green building that attempts to minimize the environmental impact of new buildings.

Green Globes: Green Building Initiative is working toward certification from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the national standard for guidelines in nearly all business sectors.

According to a July 2006 comparison study for the U.S. General Services Administration. GSA has used LEED for its building projects since 2003 and periodically studies other options.

The LEED process usually adds about 2 percent to the cost of a building project, Hartke said, noting that the additional cost is usually recouped in less than two years. For a $1 million building, for example, LEED certification would cost $20,000. Cost recovery comes mostly from utility savings, including 36 percent in energy usage and 40 percent in water usage, studies show.

According to the U.S. GSA study, Green Globes certification adds an average of $4,000 to project costs, which would bring considerable savings using the million-dollar project example.

The Green Globes program is also entirely Web-based; project developers fill out online documentation throughout the process, which is examined by an independent third-party certifier. The examiner then visits the site once construction is complete.

The GSA study says that LEED is “the most appropriate and credible sustainable building rating system” for GSA projects, in part because it is the most widely used program in the U.S. market and is applicable to all different types of buildings.

The Battle for Green Building
Two all-encompassing green building initiatives have emerged as options for commercial projects
By Jeremy Elwood
Springfield Business Journal Staff

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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