Case study: Green Globes certification faster, cheaper than LEED

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: May 14, 2014 2:52 pm ET
Updated: May 15, 2014 12:25 pm ET

Image By: Daderot/Wikipedia Drexel University's Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building during construction.

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, United States, Construction

A five-story science building constructed on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia earned stamps of approval in sustainability from both LEED and Green Globes.

However, one certification came at a significant cost, according to a study of the two green building programs used by university employees.

The internal staff costs to meet LEED requirements totaled $125,000 compared to $9,000 for Green Globes, Associate Professor Jeffrey Beard found in his research of time sheets and other records kept by the project team and university.

Beard’s research was limited to the 130,000-square foot Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, and his funding came from the Green Building Initiative (GBI), which manages the Green Globes program. However, the research was conducted without oversight from GBI, which is based in Portland, Ore.

The study shows Green Globes is less expensive to conduct and faster to complete than LEED, according to GBI President Jerry Yudelson.

“Green Globe certification currently gives the market a choice among certification systems and provides competition that helps improve results for users, resulting in more innovation and lower costs over time,” Yudelson said in a news release. “In this particular project, the cost savings to the university were on the order of $1 per square foot, a significant number for a large building.”

Green Globes also is considered friendlier to the plastics, lumber and chemical industries than LEED.

The Drexel building of science labs and classrooms earned three Green Globes — four is the highest — and a LEED gold rating, which is second to platinum in that four-level system.

Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the world’s most popular program for green construction with more than 21,000 commercial projects achieving its certification.

The study at Drexel does not provide a balanced comparison, according to USGBC spokesman Jacob Kriss.

“It lacks a holistic view as it only looks at one building, which isn’t enough of a sample size for a valid study,” Kriss said in an email.

“If you are looking for a truly independent review of LEED and its value, the National Academy of Sciences released a 2013 study strongly affirming the value of LEED certification and stated that LEED certified buildings result in significant reductions in energy and water use.”

That study says LEED offers long-term economic savings for federal agencies and that the Department of Defense has experienced positive net returns on its investments.

LEED had what many considered a monopoly on green building guidance until last fall when the General Services Administration, which is essentially the nation's landlord, approved Green Globes as an alternative to LEED.


Comments

Case study: Green Globes certification faster, cheaper than LEED

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: May 14, 2014 2:52 pm ET
Updated: May 15, 2014 12:25 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Acquisition expands Rieke Packaging's stake in Asia

July 28, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Diversified rigid packaging components producer Rieke Packaging Systems now has a bigger footprint in Asia.    More

A third generation is adding to the growth at American Vinyl Co.

July 28, 2014 4:32 pm ET

American Vinyl Co., a compounding and extrusion company that increased its workforce 20 percent this year, is looking to double its space for storing ...    More

Image

Who are the fastest growing pipe, profile and tubing extruders?

July 28, 2014 3:09 pm ET

Question: What's the word on this week's Plastics News annual ranking of the top Pipe, Profile and Tubing extruders in North America? Answer: Up....    More

Image

Two medical device makers add specialty products through acquisitions

July 28, 2014 3:02 pm ET

The medical merger mania continues this summer as two more medical device manufacturers are swallowed up by bigger competitors.    More

Image

Deal combines US packaging thermoformers

July 28, 2014 12:42 pm ET

Thermoformed medical packager Nelipak Corp. is expanding its North American holdings and access to the U.S. health care market with the purchase of Ph...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events