SOURCE: Green Building Initiative

Green Building Initiative

December 07, 2011 11:56 ET

GBI Launches Guiding Principles Compliance Certification Program Addressing EO 13514 Requirements for Existing Buildings -- Veterans Affairs Orders 180 Third-Party Assessments

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Dec 7, 2011) - The Green Building Initiative launched today its Guiding Principles Compliance certification program for existing buildings -- a tool that gives federal agencies a means to assess and demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 13514. The new program was selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs to measure and demonstrate compliance to the Guiding Principles for 180 VA buildings already undergoing Green Globes certification. These facilities will complete the supplemental Guiding Principles certification process in early 2012.

Executive Order 13514 states that by 2015, 15% of each agency's federally owned or leased buildings 5,000 square feet or larger must incorporate the sustainable practices from the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Guidance Document (12/1/08) http://www.wbdg.org/references/fhpsb.php. The Five Guiding Principles with which federal agency buildings must comply are:

1. Employ integrated design principles
2. Optimize energy performance
3. Protect and conserve water
4. Enhance quality of indoor air environment
5. Reduce environmental impact of building materials

Reporting mandates for these requirements stipulate that there should be accuracy and consistency in reporting across agencies; agencies should leverage existing resources which are already dedicated to property management; agencies must demonstrate annual progress toward 100% compliance to the goals; and these goals should be met while creating the least amount of disruption to agencies and their missions.

The Green Building Initiative is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, and well established provider of building sustainability assessment and certification services within the Federal Sector.

Although GBI's Green Globes Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings (CIEB) Program has been shown to significantly overlap the Guiding Principles, a separate assessment program was necessary to meet the VA's compliance requirements. Accordingly, GBI developed a dedicated program that incorporates an intuitive self-evaluation survey, an on-site assessment and documentation review by a third-party sustainability expert, and a certified compliance score/rating for each building. Agencies may choose to pursue either or both certifications (Green Globes and Guiding Principles Compliance), which can be generally completed from start to finish generally within about three months.

GBI's program has been developed to address the specific needs of Federal Government agencies and represents practical, thorough, and credible means to demonstrate compliance as required by Executive Order 13514. By virtue of the involvement of a third-party and standardized means for determining compliance and reporting, it sets a standard for consistency and accuracy. With GBI's rating scale, even buildings that complete the process achieving less than full compliance can be certified for their level of compliance and be recognized for their building's achievement. The program can be deployed portfolio-wide with minimal training, discounts for campus buildings, and does not require the involvement of external consultants.

"Federal government agencies are now addressing requirements for building sustainability performance measurement and reporting on a broad scale," said Joe Pinelli, VP and General Manager for the GBI. "Not only is GBI's Guiding Principles Compliance program the first of its kind in the industry but one that has been proven in real world practice on a broad scale. The GBI's Guiding Principles compliance program's ease of use, accuracy of assessment, and reporting credibility can be a model for other federal government agencies to use."

The GBI launches the Guiding Principles program at EcoBuild at the Washington DC Convention Center December 7-9.

For more information about GBI's Green Globes and Guiding Principles Compliance certification program, please visit this site http://www.thegbi.org/guiding-principles. You may also sign up to attend a free webinar at this link: http://www.thegbi.org/live-webseminars/

THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE (GBI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches for residential and commercial construction. GBI is the exclusive U.S. licensee of Green Globes®, a revolutionary green building guidance and assessment program that offers an effective, practical and affordable way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings. The GBI has now added Federal Guiding Principles Compliance assessment and certification to its products and services. www.thegbi.org

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