by Andrew Ness
The spreading trend toward “green” building has resulted in a number of competing and overlapping certification systems, with only faint hope in sight of better standardization. United States builders are most familiar with the LEED system sponsored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Through USGBC’s association with the World Green Building Council, LEED is now available in almost 60 countries, spanning the globe from Malaysia to Morocco.
Starting in 1996, Canada’s Building Research Establishment developed its Environmental Assessment Method. This then evolved into an online assessment and rating tool owned by BOMA Canada, known as Green Globes. BOMA Canada then licensed Green Globes to the Green Building Initiative (GBI) in the United States to compete with LEED. To raise its “market share” GBI has applied to have Green Globes accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
Outside of the Americas, the BREEAM standard promulgated by BRE in the United Kingdom has become widely used and adopted for use in Europe and the Gulf Region, with approximately 110,000 buildings BREEAM certified. There are also a number of national and local standards. France has the HQE system, and about 70% of the commercial buildings built in Australia since 2002 have been rated under the “Green Star” system. In Italy, a regional standard known as Protocollo Itaca was developed for specific regions, but has now been divided into two separate and more streamlined standards.
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