Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long is the learning curve? What kind of training is available?
  2. What's unique about the Green Globes system?
  3. Why does the market need more than one standard?
  4. Why an online system?
  5. How much does Green Globes cost?
  6. Does it cost more to have a fit-out project comply with Green Globes?
  7. How does Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors address the use of materials?
  8. What does the verification process entail?
  9. What documentation is required for certification?
  10. Why should I obtain third-party verification?
  11. Is there a Green Globes Professional training available in Canada?
  12. Is there a guide for GG Sustainable Interiors / Canada?
  13. Is there an Excel spreadsheet listing all criteria for pre-assessment?
  14. Is there a Green Globes version for Existing Buildings in Canada?

1. How long is the learning curve?

The strength of the Green Globes system is that it is written in plain language so it's easy for beginners as well as experienced practitioners to be up and running in minutes. The system is questionnaire-driven. Users are walked through a logical sequence of questions that guide their next steps and provide guidance for integrating important elements of sustainability. Once each questionnaire is complete, the system automatically generates a report identifying the project highlights and indicating areas for improvement.

2. What's unique about the Green Globes system?

There is much agreement with regard to what constitutes best energy and environmental practices, so the major green building standards such as Green Globes, LEED, BREEAM and others have more similarities than differences. However, the Green Globes system does have a number of distinct attributes in the way the program is delivered, such as the online questionnaire-driven assessment, and automated reporting, which greatly reduce the time and cost of producing a submission. For this reason, the federal government and many states, in the US are recognizing Green Globes as a credible tool and in Canada, the method has been used for several years on federal and provincial buildings.

3. Why does the market need more than one methodology?

There is general agreement about what constitutes green building best practices, and most assessment methodologies have remarkably similar criteria. What differs is the way in which the assessment methodologies are delivered. By having a variety of credible options, people can choose the one that meets their needs with the result that more buildings are built or retrofitted to high standards of energy and environmental performance. Having more than one methodology also helps to generate healthy competition to ensure low cost, user-friendly design and client service.

4. Why an online system?

Because it's online and interactive, the Green Globes system enables you to change inputs in order to keep your assessment up-to-date. It serves as a virtual consultant, providing instant feedback on the environmental aspects of a structure's design along with advice and resources for improvements. And as users work their way through the steps of the integrated design purpose, they can produce the policies, plans and other required working documents. Thus the system also guides and simplifies the documentation process.

5. How much does Green Globes cost?

Click here for the summary of costs for verification and certification.

6. Does it cost more to have a fit-out project comply with Green Globes?

As with any green building standard, building a project to comply with Green Globes normally costs between 1% and 2% more than a regular project. However, Green Globes' assessment and verification costs are lower than most, so it tends to be less expensive overall.

7. How does Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors address the use of materials?

The requirement is for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for product categories that conform to ISO standards, or Industry-wide (generic) EPDs where the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as a participant by a 3rd party program operator and/or Product Specific Declarations that are third-party certified and/or third-party certifications that are based upon multiple attribute standards and/or third-party certified life cycle product assessments based upon ISO 14040 and 14044, and cover cradle-to-cradle scope.

8. What does the verification process entail?

To receive a final rating of one, two, three four or five globes, the data submitted online must be verified by a Green Globes verifier. This is a trained and licensed engineer or architect with significant experience in building sciences and sustainability. Using existing supporting documents (such as the project's working drawings, project specifications, waste disposal plans), the verifier reviews the submission and confirms that the percentage of points shown in the assessment report is supported by fact. If the verifier finds that incorrect claims were made or a positive practice was not recorded, he or she modifies the input, justifying why the change was made. A quality assurance protocol helps to ensure that verifiers conduct their assessments thoroughly and consistently.

Assessment users can engage a Green Globes verifier immediately following completion of the Construction Documents questionnaire. A preliminary verification will be conducted based on the evidence listed in "What Documentation is required for certification?" A certificate recognizing the design achievement is then awarded based on the verification. The final verification allowing the architect, developer and owner to promote the project as having earned one, two, three, four or five Globes happens only after a post-construction review has been completed by the Green Globes verifier following construction of the project.

9. What Documentation is required for certification?

Rather than requesting additional documents prepared specifically for the certification process, Green Globes Sustainable Interiors asks for the full set of actual working drawings (architectural, (plus mechanical and electrical where applicable)) and specifications. In addition, other documents that have been produced as part of the integrated design must be available electronically upon request by the verifier. Click here for a list of documentation which may be requested for review depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Please send the documentation to identified verifier:

10. Why should I obtain third-party verification?

By having an independent third party verify that your completed property or facility reflects the achievements described in the self-assessment, you add value and credibility in the market, the community, and among occupants.

11. Is there Green Globes Professional training available in Canada?

The aim of Green Globes is to provide an assessment that can be done by a team of design professionals using the integrated design approach, and without the need for additional designations. Also, notwithstanding certain nuances in the criteria, virtually all of major assessments address the same issues. Hence anyone with a LEED designation should be perfectly qualified to facilitate a Green Globes project.

That said, as a result of the numerous requests, Green Globes Canada is in the process of developing training program to support such designation. Meanwhile, details on the verification and certification process can be found in the Manual - or please contact us.

12. Is there a guide for GG sustainable interiors/ Canada?

There is no Canadian version of the Sustainable Interiors Guide. As the Sustainable Interiors is not regionally specific, the US version found at https://www.thegbi.org/files/training_resources/Green_Globes_for_Sustainable_Interiors_Technical_Reference_Manual_-_V1.04.pdf sufficiently covers both the US and the Canadian circumstances. For any specific detailed clarification please contact info@greenglobes.com.

13. Is there an Excel spreadsheet listing all criteria for pre-assessment?

Why duplicate the input effort when the online application does it for you? By simply opening an account (for free) users have access to a predesign questionnaire and “Printable Survey with Responses” which fulfills the same function as an Excel spreadsheet - faster and better. There is also a downloadable questionnaire, which serves to consider responses offline. The objective of Green Globes is to produce a simple system where users spend time improving projects, not studying the certification!

14. Is there a Green Globes version for Existing Buildings?

The Green Globes Existing Building module was licensed to BOMA Canada and operated as BOMA BESt. It addresses the management and operation of existing buildings, not building renovations or fit ups.