Green Globes utilizes a comprehensive approach to energy performance, providing a more accurate assessment of energy savings for both new construction and existing buildings. This is accomplished primarily by using ENERGY STAR to benchmark and rate energy performance based on actual regionalized energy performance data. This approach may also save design costs by using ENERGY STAR where the ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G model is not required. Energy conservation occupies the most prominent position in the Green Globes assessment programs, allocating 38% of the total points to new construction (NC) and 35% to existing buildings (CIEB).
Michael O' Brien, PE, Senior Associate / Mechanical Engineer, Heery International
Green Globes for New Construction, including Major Renovations, incorporates a comprehensive energy section beginning with “design energy performance”. The ENERGY STAR commercial building award program is the primary basis for rating the proposed energy performance for building projects. Accessed through their online Target Finder program, the ENERGY STAR benchmarking protocol measures design performance against actual building energy performance data, specific to the building occupancy type and region. Additional inputs into Target Finder are used to normalize the benchmarking results. Green Globes utilizes the same achievement threshold as the ENERGY STAR award program for existing buildings, 75%, to begin awarding credit for energy performance.
The primary benefit to the Green Globes user is that the project's energy performance design is compared against actual regional performance data rather than a hypothetical base building model making it a more accurate predictor of energy savings. Additionally, building owners may save design costs by using ENERGY STAR where the ASHRAE 90.1, Appendix G model is not required. Another benefit is the additional ENERGY STAR output that also lists source energy efficiency and potential CO2e emissions. The regional building performance data utilized by ENERGY STAR is contained in the US Department of Energy's Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database.
For building types not covered in the ENERGY STAR award program, Green Globes incorporates the ASHRAE 90.1, Appendix G, energy performance design method within the online program. For specialized occupancies such as laboratories, GBI offers a Custom Energy Analysis performed by an experienced, third-party energy engineer to determine if the proposed building earns energy performance credit.
The Energy section within Green Globes includes additional sub-sections with more prescriptive criteria regarding the building siting, orientation, envelope features, equipment, lighting, controls and metering. Also included is a subsection on renewable energy, which includes ground source heat pump systems. Finally, Green Globes includes Transportation criteria within the Energy section. The maximum, total achievable points in the Energy Environmental Assessment area are 380.
Green Globes Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings (CIEB) also utilizes ENERGY STAR to address energy performance. Users can apply for and earn the ENERGY STAR through EPA's Portfolio Manager program. As with new construction, Green Globes CIEB begins awarding energy performance credits at the same threshold percentile, 75%, that ENERGY STAR uses to award the ENERGY STAR label. A maximum of 350 points are possible in Green Globes CIEB within the Energy Environmental Assessment area. For building occupancy types not eligible for the ENERGY STAR award program, GBI offers a Custom Energy Analysis to determine energy performance credits, utilizing CBECS data or other credible data program.