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Smart Growth

Green Globes™

Description A series of rating and certification systems that encourage improved environmental and health performance for all types of buildings except residential structures. Green Globes™ is administered in the United States by the Green Building Initiative.

Learn more about Green Globes.Exit
Standard Type1
  • Rating and certification system
Mandatory/ Voluntary2
  • Voluntary
Building Type(s)
  • Commercial: all
  • Mixed use: all
  • Residential: multifamily
Project Type
  • New construction
  • Additions
  • Alterations
  • Existing buildings
Subject Areas
  • Sustainable sites
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Materials and resource use
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Emissions
  • Project/environmental management
Community Adoption/Use
  • Communities could use this protocol as the basis for a voluntary program that encourages construction of greener commercial buildings.
Certification/Compliance Process
  • Certification to one of four levels (i.e., 1 to 4 globes) requires achieving minimum thresholds of 1,000 points.
  • Has no minimum criteria (i.e., does not require any specific practices); instead rates buildings on the green building practices the builder chooses to include.
  • Does not require any ongoing documentation, but documentation is required as proof of compliance during the third-party assessment.
  • Requires third-party review of building documentation and on-site walk-throughs.

¹ In the building community, there is no consistent use or definition of the term "standard." EPA uses the term "standard" here in a broad sense to mean "something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example: CRITERION" (Merriam-Webster). EPA uses it as an umbrella term to encompass model codes, rating systems, and other publications that provide criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings.

² Any standard can be adopted as a voluntary or mandatory program. We indicate here the intent of the authors.

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