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Green Globes vs. LEED

Green Globes vs. LEED

Krystal Paisley

August 14, 2014

Green Globes is a green building rating systems that is an alternative to the more mainstream LEED Certification. With the latest introduction—and stricter requirements—of LEED v4, some organizations are looking into other green rating options.







Differences in Green Globes

Green Globes touts itself as the streamlined and affordable alternative to LEED. But the biggest difference between the two systems is that Green Globes sends out a third-party to provide an onsite assessment. This assessor has expertise in green building design, engineering, construction, and facility operations. During the assessment, these professionals interact with the project teams and building owners to conduct building tours and review documentation. Assessors have met minimum qualifications set by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) and have successfully completed the Green Globes Assessor (GGA) Program training and testing.


Like LEED, Green Globes also has a rating system. Those buildings achieving 35% or more of the 1,000 points possible are eligible for certification of one, two, three, or four Green Globes. The higher the level of achievement, the greater number of globes acquired. For example, an ms ALDI project received three Green Globes for its sustainable design.

History of Green Globes

The Green Globes program was thoughtfully developed through more than nine years of research and refinement by a wide range of international organizations and experts. This rating system was derived from the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental  Assessment Method (BREEAM) which was brought to Canada in 1996. This program evolved to add an online assessment and rating tool, taking the name “Green Globes.” Since its successful inception in Canada in 2002, Green Globes has been introduced to the United Kingdom and the United States. Since its 2004 introduction, Green Globes has been rising up as an alternative to LEED certification.

Comparing Green Globes and LEED

Both ratings systems have their pros and cons, but which one should you choose? Both programs do offer similar benefits. They both provide a nationally-accepted green building rating, as well as new and existing construction assessments.


Here is an overview and comparison of Green Globes and LEED to get you started!

Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Building

Whichever program fits your building and your needs, you will see the long-term benefits of a more energy-efficient space. These benefits include a reduction in energy costs, water usage, operating and maintenance costs, environmental impact…and the list goes on!


Are you considering a green building certification? Want to know more information? ms has multiple sustainable design experts on staff. Contact us and our green building experts can help you with your next project.


Comparison chart information was compiled from the Green Building Institute (GBI) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).