The Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system represents more than nine years of research and refinement by a wide range of prominent international organizations and experts.
The genesis of the system was the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), which was brought to Canada in 1996 in cooperation with ECD Energy and Environment. Pioneers of this project included Jiri Skopek, John Doggart and Roger Baldwin, who were the principal authors of the BREEAM Canada document.
In 1996, the Canadian Standards Association published BREEAM Canada for Existing Buildings. More than 35 individuals participated in its development, including representatives from the following organizations:
In 1999, ECD Energy and Environment worked with TerraChoice, the agency that administers the Government of Canada's Environmental Choice program, to develop a more streamlined, question-based tool, which was introduced as the BREEAM Green Leaf eco-rating program. This program led to the development of Green Leaf for Municipal Buildings with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities later that year.
In 2000, BREEAM Green Leaf took another leap forward in its evolution, becoming an online assessment and rating tool under the name Green Globes for Existing Buildings. Also that year, BREEAM Green Leaf for the Design of New Buildings was developed for the Department of National Defense and Public Works and Government Services Canada.
In 2002, Green Globes for Existing Buildings was introduced online in the United Kingdom as the Global Environmental Method (GEM). Work also began to adapt BREEAM Green Leaf for the Design of New Buildings into the online Green Globes for New Buildings. Participants in this process included representatives from:
In 2004, Green Globes for Existing Buildings was adopted by the Building Owners and Manufacturers Association of Canada (BOMA) under the name Go Green Comprehensive (now known as Go Green Plus). Since then, the Canadian federal government has announced its plan to adopt Go Green Plus for its entire real estate portfolio.
Also in 2004, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) acquired the rights to distribute Green Globes in the United States. The GBI has committed to continually refining the system to ensure that it reflects changing opinions and ongoing advances in research and technology, and, in so doing, to involve multiple stakeholders in an open and transparent process.
To that end, in 2005, GBI became the first green building organization to be accredited as a standards developer by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and began the process of establishing Green Globes as an official ANSI standard. The GBI ANSI technical committee was formed in early 2006.