It's Not Easy Going Green: GSA Seeks Better Standard

May 12, 2012

The government is reviewing how it will measure the "greenness" of new buildings for the next five years. And that has set off a skirmish among construction industry groups jockeying to sway the outcome.

Today, the government's primary measuring stick is the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system, which scores how green a building is based on everything from its construction materials to its proximity to mass transit. Buildings can be LEED certified or achieve even higher degrees of greenness at the LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum levels.

The General Services Administration, which manages most of the government's building projects, requires that all buildings it builds be LEED Gold certified. Other federal agencies occasionally use another standard: the Green Building Initiative's "Green Globes" system. 

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