July 25, 2014
by Canadian Architect
ECD Energy and Environment Canada recently announced the release of the most significant upgrade to the Green Globes® for Fit-ups program, now renamed Sustainable Interiors (SI) since it first became available in Canada in 2004. Green Globes is a Web-based program that offers guidance on integrated design and provides certification in two stages: at the design stage and post-construction. The program is a user-friendly and affordable alternative to LEED and is used to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial and institutional building interiors.
In Canada, Green Globes SI is now largely based on a Canadian adaptation of an ANSI standard: ANSI/GBI 01–2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. The standard was developed in the US using an ANSI-approved consensus process involving stakeholders from across the building sustainability industry. “Using the ANSI standard, Green Globes has been enhanced in all of the assessment areas,” said Jiri Skopek, the Director of Green Globes development in Canada.
Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors focuses exclusively on the sustainable design and construction of interior spaces in non-residential buildings and can be pursued by both building owners and individual lessees of commercial spaces. When pursuing Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors certification, tenants can focus on both designing new and/or improving their interior space to Green Globes standards without the need to certify an entire building. One of the aspects that makes Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors so versatile–and practical–is that it enables tenants to certify the specific environmental and sustainability attributes of the space they lease. Other certifications include aspects of the entire building and surroundings, and as a result tenant improvements can be penalized for conditions they do not control.
Certification is in two stages. At the completion of the design phase of the project, a Green Globes design rating certification is issued. Following the project’s construction, the assessor revaluates the project and issues a post-construction certificate. A project is awarded one to five Green Globes according to the points earned in the certification process.
“Professionals will be impressed by the ease of use of the online Green Globes evaluation system, and by the overall program flexibility and adaptability” said Craig Riley, Regional Business Line Leader, Sustainability at URS Corporation. “The Green Globes certification process is robust and efficient and there is abundant customer service to guide users through the process to answer questions regarding greening strategies during the design and construction process.”
Backed by excellent customer support, Green Globes offers a streamlined and affordable alternative to LEED to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial and institutional buildings.
“The new Green Globes reflects major advances in building science and an enhanced user interface experience, but maintains the unique attributes that have made it the user-friendly and cost-effective choice for a growing number of sustainability professionals,” says Skopek. “What has not changed is that it still provides a transparent Web-based survey, with a streamlined verification process based on a review of actual construction documents and specifications, along with live customer support.”