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Green Globes vs. LEED v4
Patty Vaughan | April 4, 2014

logoLate last year, the identified the Green Building Initiatives’ rating program, , as an acceptable standard for green buildings.

The Green Globes rating program is in addition to the U.S. Green Building Council’s .

After comparing the two programs, staff at the  put together this analysis:

“…while the government represents a very small portion of the total construction market, GSA’s endorsement of Green Globes is expected to significantly increase the visibility and use of this alternative standard.

Like LEED, Green Globes rates the sustainability of a building’s design, construction and maintenance, including landscape and irrigation systems. Overall, LEED allocates a larger percentage of total available points to areas relevant to the landscape and irrigation industries. Under LEED, points for landscape (8 points out of 110) and irrigation and water efficiency (3 points) together account for 10 percent of the total. The Green Globes system allocates only 5 percent of available points to landscape (42 points out of 1,000) and irrigation (12 points).

In contrast to trends in the field, where the focus has been on reducing potable water use for irrigation, both LEED and Green Globes award the most points to projects that require no irrigation or significantly reduce the irrigated landscape. For example, under LEED, projects receive additional points for requiring no irrigation or reducing landscape water use by 50 percent or more (as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Water Budget Tool).

For Green Globes, at least 25 percent of the project’s landscaping must be non-irrigated to earn points, with additional points awarded for further reductions in irrigation use. Unlike LEED, Green Globes does award points for using non-potable water, water harvested onsite or sub-meters for potable water systems. Projects can also earn points under Green Globes for using drip irrigation, WaterSense-labeled products or those tested under the Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) protocols, and swing joints or flex pipes for in-ground sprinklers…”

Green Globes vs. LEED v4: A Comparison of Landscape, Water & Irrigation Provisions

Green Globes 2010/2013 Prerequisites/Points LEED 2013 v4 Prerequisites/Points
Prerequisites None Prerequisites
No Irrigation Required or Landscape Water Use Reduced by 30% or More
Construction Activity Pollution Prevention
Potential Points 1,000 Potential Points 110
Levels of
Certification

4 Green Globes
3 Green Globes
2 Green Globes
1 Green Globe
≥850
700 – 849
550 – 699
350 – 549
Levels of
Certification

Platinum       
Gold
Silver
Certified
≥80
60 – 79
50 – 59
40 – 49
Irrigation Related Points 12 Irrigation Related Points
(Water Efficiency)
3
Landscape Related Points 42 Landscape Related Points (Sustainable Sites) 8
TOTAL RELATED TO LANDSCAPE & IRRIGATION 54
(5% of total)
TOTAL RELATED TO LANDSCAPE & IRRIGATION 11
(10% of total)
    
Irrigation Related Points  Potential Points Irrigation Related Points  Potential Points
Alternate Sources of Water 0 – 5 Outdoor Water Use

≥50% Reduction
100% Reduction
  (No Irrigation)
1
2
 
Irrigation Meter on Potable Water 0 – 3 Water Meter for Irrigation & One Other Use 1
Directed Downspouts, Cisterns or Water Harvesting 1  
Drip Irrigation 1
Smart Controller 1
Pressure Regulation 0.5
Swing Joints 0.5
POTENTIAL
TOTAL
12 POTENTIAL
TOTAL
3
    
Landscape Related Points  Potential Points Landscape Related Points  Potential Points
Landscape & Irrigation Plan 6 Site Assessment 1
Soil Type Identified 2 Protect/Restore Habitat 2
Structural Limitations 1 Rainwater Management 3
Drought Tolerant Plants 0 – 3 Heat Island Reduction 2
Native Plants 0 – 4                 
% of Vegetation Not Requiring Irrigation

≥75%
50 – 74%
25 – 49%
<25%
14
11
8
0
Minimal Turfgrass 3
Soil Prep 1
Organic Mulch 1
Hydrozone Grouping 2
Plants Spaced for Maturation at Five Years 1
15% Pervious Materials 4
POTENTIAL
TOTAL
42 POTENTIAL
TOTAL
8

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