Third-party certification adds credibility to any green building.
The process of achieving certification also adds a layer of accountability and integrity for the building project team. While a space can certainly be green and high-performing if it is not certified, there are several tangible benefits that accompany certification that cannot be as easily attained without it.
Every project, team and budget will consider a variety of different delivery and verification methods for their high-performance space; however, anyone working on a green building project should review the following certification options, benefits, requirements, considerations, costs and codes.
Below is a list of the recognized green building rating systems, certifications and standards in the market.
Green Building Rating Systems
Developed by and established in 1998 by USGBC, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) has transformed the way we think about how our buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe. (National and International; All building types)
LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE
The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a philosophy, advocacy platform, and certification program that promotes a very high building standard linked to net zero energy, net zero water, beauty, and more. (National and International; All building types)
The Green Globes system was based on the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) by the Canadian Standards Association. (National; Some building types)
ENVIRONMENTS FOR LIVING
Environments for Living is a green building program developed by Masco Contractor Services, a building products and services company. The program focuses on energy efficiency, durability, indoor environmental quality and water efficiency. (National; Residential)
Green Communities provides funding and guidance to affordable housing developers to build and rehabilitate homes that are healthier, more energy-efficient and better for the environment. Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that focuses on community development and affordable housing, sponsors the program.
NAHB NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING STANDARD
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) partnered to establish a nationally recognized standard definition of green building for homes. (National; Residential)
STAR Communities provides a robust set of programs and services to meet diverse community needs. They also assist nonprofits, universities, businesses and other institutions engaged in local sustainability. STAR can be used as a standalone framework for local sustainability, and it is also a management tool and certification program. (National; Community)
FLORIDA GREEN BUILDING COALITIONThe Florida Green Building Coalition offers green building standards for commercial buildings, community developments, residential high rises, homes and local governments in Florida. (Florida; Some building types)
Other Specialized Standards
FLORIDA WATER STAR
Florida Water StarSM is a water conservation certification program for new and existing homes and commercial developments. Standards and guidelines for water efficiency are included for Indoor fixtures and appliances, landscape design and irrigation systems. The program was developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District in 2006 and became a statewide program in 2012.
ENERGY STAR FOR BUILDINGS
ENERY STAR was originally developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a voluntary labeling program to promote energy-efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (National; All building types)
“Being passionate about the built environment is one thing. Being passionate about healthcare is another. How the two combine, I found to be an incredibly synergistic and complimentary place. Healthcare facilities are the most resource consuming structures that exist. It is both, costly for most involved but mainly care providers, and largely impactful on the environment – built and natural. Neither are always or even often, beneficial. Serving on the board of the USGBC council enables me to give back in ways most may not think of, but in ways that have proven to be profound to the healthcare, design, engineering and construction industries, and the people I aim to serve within them.”
- Jessica Robin Bellman