AIA releases study of green building rating systems

Report examines Green Globes, LEED NC 2.2, and SBTool 07 in relation to AIA position statement on green rating systems.


The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released a study of three green building rating systems (Green Globes, SBTool 07, and LEED NC 2.2) and assessed their effectiveness in supporting the goals of the AIA sustainability position statement. In late 2007, the initial results were shared with the three groups whose systems were reviewed. After receiving feedback, the study was modified and further refined into the final report.

The purpose of this exercise is to offer analysis to both industry and the public as an opportunity to learn how three unique, creative and evolving green building rating systems resonate in various dimensions with the goals of the AIA position statement on sustainability and our goal to achieve carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030.

Key findings:

Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes:
The system offers a broad based evaluation of projects in both the design process and based on environmental criteria. When used to certify a project, more stringent and specific requirements in the areas of energy reduction and operational performance are needed, as these are the two areas that most influence carbon production.

U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED NC 2.2 system:
This is good example of a rating system which provides a measurement of environmental achievement. Continued developments in life cycle assessment, requirements for renewable energy or carbon reduction targets for certified projects will continue to make this system an effective resource for architects.

International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment’s SBTool 07:
SBTool 07 is a toolkit for designing a rating system. If used as a rating system providing certification, SBTool 07 would be stronger if there was an increase in the number of “required” items vs. those that are simply “encouraged” and required project documentation. Specific requirements in the areas of energy reduction and operational performance would supply any rating system approach that comes out of SBTool 07 with performance-based requirements necessary for reaching carbon reduction goals.

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