On October 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule, required under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, stating that if new Federal buildings and major renovations decide to pursue a green building certification, the level of two Green Globes is recommended.
In addition, DOE’s rule provides that rating systems used by the federal government must, among other criteria:
- Allow assessors and auditors to verify the criteria and measurement metrics of the system independently;
- Be developed by a certification organization that:
(i) Provides an opportunity for public comment on the system; and
(ii) Provides an opportunity for development and revision of the system through a consensus-based process;
- Be nationally recognized within the building industry.
Jerry Yudelson, president of the Green Building Initiative, which provides the Green Globes system to the U.S. building industry, commented, “This ruling confirms what we have been saying for the past year, that the Green Globes system is equal in every way to the LEED system, for the purpose of rating Federal building projects. We’re pleased that the U.S. DOE’s criteria closely match how the Green Globes system actually works.”
Green Globes uses the services of independent assessors and uses the ANSI national consensus process for developing its Green Globes tools for new construction and major renovations, the subjects of the U.S. DOE rule. In September 2014, the Green Building Initiative created an ANSI-approved “Consensus Body” to update and refine its 2010 national standard for commercial buildings.
“We expect that the ANSI Consensus Body will take a close look at the DOE requirement for monitoring and reporting energy and water performance in Federal buildings at least every four years and will seek to incorporate that requirement into the new standard,” said Yudelson, “not only for Federal buildings but for all buildings certified using the Green Globes green building rating system.”
The new DOE rule also allows Federal agencies, in lieu of formal third-party certification, to pursue compliance with Guiding Principles for Sustainability compiled in a 2008 document and called for in Executive Order 13514, issued by President Obama in 2009. The GBI is the sole provider of a Guiding Principles Compliance rating system for Federal agencies and has certified hundreds of Federal projects, both existing and new construction, as to their degree of compliance with the Guiding Principles. The GBI also trains and has certified hundreds of Federal employees as Guiding Principles Compliance Professionals.