During green building presentations that include legal views, I usually expect that someone in the crowd will not agree with my views of the green building industry.  Usually, the unhappy audience member cannot fathom that there are potential risks associated with green building.  Last week, though, I received a much different reaction when I presented to the National Research Council.  

A number of the federal agency employees in attendance voiced dismay that I focused exclusively on federal agencies’ adoption of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating system.  Some audience members expressed concern that federal agencies had wholesale adopted LEED certification in order to build green. 

These concerns reminded me of a recent news article highlighting alternative green building certification adopted by a federal agency:

"Fifteen Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in 10 states have received Green Globes green building ratings under the assessment system administered by the Green Building Initiative.

The GBI’s third-party review system certifies buildings at four levels with ratings ranging from a single to four Green Globes.

All but two of the 15 VA medical centers that were recently certified received ratings of three Green Globes. The Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center and the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina each received a rating of two Green Globes."

In describing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Green Globes buildings, Rob Watson, the Father of LEED, argued that Green Globes was continuing to "penetrate its mid-market target.

The use of non-LEED rating systems is a new development in federal policy, and one that may continue to gain in popularity for different building markets.  On Thursday, we will look at why green building certification is so important to federal agencies.

Is it possible that two green building rating systems can live harmoniously in federal policy? 

Related Links:

15 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers Attain Green Globes Certification (GreenerBuildings)
Yogi Berra Was Right (GreenerBuildings)