Green Globes' use of weighted criteria provides flexibility for building owners by removing prerequisites and incorporating non-applicable criteria and partial credit. These flexibility features allow the owner to concentrate on environmental elements that are practical and feasible for their project or building, while avoiding undue and unnecessary scoring penalties and fees.
The Green Globes Assessment and Rating program is based on a credit pool of 1,000 points. This allows for weighted criteria, wherein the assigned number of points for each individual criterion reflects its environmental impact and/or benefit. This feature allows more emphasis on environmental design and management while minimizing the need for ‘point chasing' to achieve the final score and rating goal. The 1,000 point structure enables three very significant and salient features of the Green Globes assessment and rating process:
Penalties, especially prerequisites resulting in ineligibility to participate in the rating and certification process, are opposed to the central purpose of green building rating systems, which is to promote the adoption of sustainability practices in the building industry across a wide range of building types. The incorporation of these flexibility features results in the highest possible accuracy of the final Green Globes score and rating.
With weighted criteria, Green Globes recognizes that each verified achievement should count according to its assigned points. When the minimum threshold for certification is reached (35% of applicable points or higher), the weighted criteria represent an accurate and objective reflection of the owner’s verified accomplishments. Thus, prerequisites are not necessary or desirable, because they are contrary to the objectivity and scientific accuracy of the Green Globes program and process. Finally, prerequisites can also be penalizing, resulting in projects and buildings being excluded from the green building assessment and rating process.
A significant number of the individual criteria in Green Globes include a non-applicable (N/A) response option, which allows the Green Globes third-party assessor to award an N/A response to any eligible criterion. Criterion with an N/A option includes all technical criteria except: actual energy and water performance, and management type criteria. The primary reasons for the N/A designation are regional variations, building occupancy type, and conflict with state or local jurisdictions. The credits associated with third-party assessor verified N/A designations are deducted from the total applicable points to avoid penalizing the owner/user. Green Globes limits the award of N/A designations to a total of 100 points for each building/project.
Green Globes incorporates several criteria with threshold values in the response column, allowing the owner/user to obtain incremental credit depending on the level of achievement. Additionally, other criteria have built-in point award methodologies that incorporate threshold performance values such as energy and water performance. The Green Globes assessment process also allows the third-party assessor to award partial credit for any criteria where practical, based on professional judgment.