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USGBC United States Green Building Council:

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. Their mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

LEED Leading in Energy and Environmental Design:

“LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.”

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

Lower operating costs and increase asset value. Reduce waste sent to landfills. Conserve energy and water. Be healthier and safer for occupants. Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities. Demonstrate an owner's commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Green Globes

The Green Globes system is a revolutionary building environmental design and management tool. It delivers an online assessment protocol, rating system and guidance for green building design, operation and management. It is interactive, flexible and affordable, and provides market recognition of a building’s environmental attributes through third-party verification.

The Green Globes system is used in Canada and the USA. In the USA, Green Globes is owned and operated by the Green Building Initiative (GBI). In Canada, the version for existing buildings is owned and operated by BOMA Canada under the brand name 'BOMA BESt'.

GBI is an accredited standards developer under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has begun the process to establish Green Globes as an official ANSI standard.

In Canada, BOMA BESt (for Existing Buildings) is owned and operated by BOMA Canada. All other Green Globes products in Canada are owned and operated by ECD Jones Lang LaSalle.

Green products can be applied in well meaning ways that result in buildings that are far from environmentally responsible.


In the greenest of projects it is likely that many products will be used that are not themselves green but are used in a manner that helps reduce the overall environmental impacts of the building.

Ex. A particular window may not be green, but the way it is used maximizes collection of low winter sunlight and blocks the summer sun. So even a relatively conventional window can help make an office or lab space green.

In a well-thought-out building design, substituting green products for conventional products can make the difference between a good building and a great one.

Creating a green building means matching the products and materials to the specific design and site to minimize the overall environmental impact.

(Source: Building Materials: What Makes a Product Green? From Environmental Building News magazine, first published, 1/1/2000, updated January, 2006.)


Mendler, Sandra, Odell, William, & Mary Ann Lazurus. (2006). The HOK guidebook to sustainable design.2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. (A guidebook to the LEED design process.)