- Nonprofit Green Building Initiative (GBI) has purchased the global rights to the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Green Globes sustainability rating system for commercial and multifamily projects, according to the organization.
- GBI licensed the U.S. rights to Green Globes in 2004, but the deal with JLL allows the nonprofit to provide services to Canadian customers and to expand its operations worldwide. Thus far, GBI has certified more than 1,300 buildings through the program.
- Green Globes focuses on how well a building demonstrates environmental, water and energy efficiency and awards one to four globes depending on the level achieved.
Green Globes is just one of the sustainability certifications that has entered a market still dominated by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED has a certification level for everything from single-family homes to entire communities, but newer programs are competing in much narrower spaces.
The United Kingdom's Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) In-Use USA certification, a joint program between BREGroup and LEED consultancy BuildingWise, allows for a cost-effective self-assessment and provides owners of nonresidential buildings with additional steps they can take to meet certification standards after receiving an initial score.
A 1.3-million-square-foot retail center in Thousand Oaks, CA, called The Oaks was the first U.S. property to win BREEAM In-Use certification. The Oaks was built in 1978 but was outfitted with 6,000 solar panels, LED lighting, a more efficient HVAC system, a mixed recycling system and modern thermal controls.
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) takes another approach to certification — the extent to which a building supports occupants' health and wellbeing — a certification that goes beyond the typical construction elements.
To achieve certification, building owners must demonstrate that they have incorporated features such as nontoxic finish, circadian lighting systems and a layout that promotes maximum movement, but they're also scored on factors like how healthy the food options are on site. From the IWBI's perspective, the built environment should contribute to the health of those occupying buildings instead of harming it.
Officials representing both BREEAM and WELL standards have said they would begin collaborating on areas of overlap between the two certifications.