The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program has been used as the benchmark for green building certification programs and standards for over two decades now. And it’s easy to see why: it is comprehensive, requiring a variety of different considerations to earn that coveted LEED plaque on the side of your building. Yet, there are other competing green rating systems out there which may be more appropriate in certain contexts, such as if you’re planning on designing an office building but not an apartment complex or museum-type structure with lots of visitor traffic and exhibit space.
What is the Green Building Certification Program?
A green building certification program is a program developed by an organization (or organizations) to allow for a building to be certified as being “green.”
They are based on national or international standards and guidelines.
Green building certification programs can include anything from designing the structure to manage stormwater on the property, to using recycled material in the construction of the building, and even using energy efficient equipment in the structure. All of these things can help with reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as other environmental factors.
Green Building Certification Programs:
AIA (The American Institute of Architects): Sustainable Design Guidelines- This is a set of guidelines for sustainable design practices for architects. It was created to help them integrate sustainable practices into their work, whether they are building a single family house or 20-story office building.
Green Globes: Green Globes is a rating tool used by commercial building owners and operators, architects, contractors and facility managers to evaluate the environmental performance of existing buildings. The program includes North American and European versions. Using this rating system is done through a detailed survey of the building and its operations.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design): LEED was created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for buildings (and other types of buildings) that are going to be used for commercial purposes in North America.
Sustainable: This program is similar to LEED in that it is designed for commercial buildings, but it does not include the requirements for how a building must be constructed (there are some similarities). Therefore, in this case, there are more stringent requirements that you need to follow. Also, since Sustainable does not have an international level rating system, its use varies from country to country.
How many green building certification programs are out there?
There are over 100 different green building certification programs out there today. They include LEED , Green Globes and Sustainable , among others.
Which program would you like to use?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most famous green rating program. It’s been around for about a decade. The process for earning LEED certification involves four different levels:
LEED-EB (elevated buildings) – This is for buildings that are 15 stories or more (so anything taller than 50 feet). You need to earn varying levels of points to earn this level. There are 5 categories within this category: Natural Ventilation , Water Efficiency , Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor environmental quality.
Aim of Green Building Certification Program:
The aim of green building certification program is to create a sustainable environment and reduce environmental impacts. The main idea is to build a healthy and efficient environment. If we come up with more activities that help us to save energy, it will lead us towards a greener planet.
Features of Green Building Certification Programs:
Green building certification programs are considered an extension of the LEED program, which has been adopted by organizations around the world.
The process includes aspects like:
Construction Waste Management , Water Conservation , Energy Management , Indoor Environmental Quality , Materials and Resources, Land Use and Site Development Requirements, Sustainable Sites Water Conservation .
The benefits of using green building certification programs are many. Many commercial and government buildings in the United States have been forced to replace their old conventional systems to those based on clean energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable practices. Using these programs is a good way to protect the environment. It will also encourage you to think about how projects can be made more assets while they are being built. Green building certification programs provide a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines for green building practices. They must be followed closely in order to allow for any projects that use them to be used in commercial spaces around the world, since not every country uses the LEED system as a standard rating program.