Design » Standards

Say you have a Green Building and You Do

Published: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

A building can be considered green without a single standard actually applied to it. If you want to say your house or building is “Green” then it is.  Just invent your own rating system. Seriously, it is so confusing, that it is that easy.

This is what drives me nuts and was the inspiration for this site.

There are so many Green Building Rating Systems that it is impossible to keep track.  In fact, many buildings that actually are truly Green don’t bother to apply because it costs money to formally register the building and belong to one of the many of the Green Building Organizations that consider themselves the de facto standard.

On the one hand, rating systems offer a way to measure how green a building is, can give a set of guidelines and can supply validation of that level of commitment.

Unfortunately, who can keep track?  Here are some of the standards in the U.S. alone:  LEED, Build it Green, Green Globes, NAHB NGBS, International Green Construction Code (IGCC), Energy Star,

These don’t even include the state and local standards that are in different parts of the U.S.

The interesting thing is that each of the standards above would love to be part of the “official standards”, but in the meantime it is the Wild Wild West with everyone claiming they are the “standard”.

Here is what I would like to see:  One set of U.S. Standards and One set of international standards that can be adapted by region.  We do that with International, Federal, State and Local Government Regulations, why can’t we do it with Green Building Standards as well?

Let me give it a shot:

There are four principles that should be used when evaluating an assessment system:


The certification body should be free of conflict and outside influences.


The results and decisions must be reproducible by others using the same standard.  They should also take into account regional variations due to environment and materials available.


The standards and process for awarding the certification should be transparent and open for examination as well as the results.

The Goal Should Be To Exceed The Standards

The goal should be to exceed the standards, not just comply.

How was that?  No blue ribbon committees, no politically funded organizations, no manufacturing lobbyists trying to influence what needs to be included.

Just one individual concerned about the future of his environment, his kids and grand kids future and a planet for them to survive on.

In my next article in this series, I will go into detail on what I think should be included.



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