Making sense of the sustainable building certification programs on the market
By Sue Pekonen and Joseph Caouette
Sustainable buildings usually have three main goals in mind: reduce environmental impact; ensure long-term economic viability; and contribute to the health and social well-being of everyone who interacts with the building.
Certification programs like LEED, Green Globes and Living Building Challenge all embrace these goals. But that is where the similarities end. Each program offers a distinct approach to sustainability projects, and tracking the differences between certification systems can be more than a little confusing for builders and owners. Why does one project use LEED while another chooses Green Globes? What kind of projects should be tackling the Living Building Challenge? Everyone may agree on the goal of making a more sustainable building, but there are a number of different routes projects can take to get there.