The Green Building Initiative (GBI) recently announced that it has completed the first public comment period for its proposed American National Standard for commercial green buildings, known officially as the “GBI Proposed American National Standard 01-200XP: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings.”
During the six week public comment period that concluded on June 9, 2008, the GBI received over 400 comments from a diverse group of individuals and organizations, including the U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arkansas and University of Georgia, among others.
“We’ve been pleased by the breadth of the comments we’ve been able to review thus far,” said Wayne Trusty, chair of the GBI ANSI Standards Committee and president of the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute. “The whole point of the ANSI public comment period is to provide a transparent process through which to collect constructive feedback from experts in the many fields related to green building—and to use those comments to improve the proposed standard. It’s great to have so many individuals and organizations participating in this process and offering positive feedback and insights.”
Based on the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system, the proposed standard also incorporates several new elements developed by the GBI ANSI Standards Committee and sub-committees, including:
The requirement to achieve a minimum number of points in each of the system’s seven areas of assessment.A change to the energy section whereby CO2 is used as the basis for calculating the performance path instead of relying solely on projecting kBtu/sf/yr of energy consumed. The standard will continue to rely on the ENERGY STAR’s Target Finder program, as Green Globes does now, but will now require the calculation of CO2e (CO2 equivalent) and, as mentioned above, the achievement of a minimum amount of points.The Green Globes LCA Credit Calculator for Building Assemblies, which fully incorporates life cycle assessment (LCA) into the system.The Green Globes Water Consumption Calculator, which allows users to project water consumption of new buildings based on their designs.
Efforts toward the proposed standard began in 2005 when the GBI became the first green building organization to be accredited as a Standards Developing Organization (SDO) by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The process soon became an integral part of the GBI’s commitment to develop and promote consensus-based standards—which in turn give design and building professionals confidence that the tools they’re using represent current research and best practices.
The Proposed American National Standard is intended for use by building owners, design teams, developers, contractors, lenders, institutions and various levels of government, and can be applied to a broad range of commercial building types—such as office, multi-family, health care, schools, universities, labs, industrial and retail.
“The public comment period is at the foundation of our commitment to take Green Globes through ANSI’s third-party codified, consensus-based committee process,” said Ward Hubbell, president of the GBI. “The fact that such a diverse group of individuals, organizations and government agencies took the time to provide substantive feedback reinforces that the this process represents the ideals of balance and transparency—which are critical to the development of a national green building standard.”
Per ANSI protocols, the GBI ANSI Standards Committee will evaluate all of the comments received, formally respond to the contributors, address any need for further research, and make appropriate revisions to the proposed standard. From there, the technical committee will hold a final letter ballot before sending the proposed standard to ANSI for formal approval. The GBI hopes to complete the ANSI process within the year.
For more information about the GBI proposed ANSI standard or the Green Globes system, visit www.thegbi.org.