Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green Building Initiative President Testifies Before Congress

Ward Hubbell, president of the Green Building Initiative, a U.S.-based nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of green building practices, testified today in support of an open playing field for green building certification in the federal sector, particularly within the General Services Administration (GSA).

In his testimony, Hubbell urged the GSA to reconsider its LEED-only policy, arguing that competition will lead to innovation in the green building sector and citing examples from other government agencies including the State Department and Veterans Administration who have used the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes rating system to assess and certify numerous buildings.

"An open playing field has given several federal agencies much more flexibility to choose an assessment and rating tool that best fits their needs," noted Hubbell. "The American public benefit from competition in the form of reduced government expenditures and enhanced environmental outcomes. Government agencies benefit from competition in the form of better customer service and labor savings. The market benefits by incenting suppliers to improve their product and service offerings and increase value."

Hubbell added that Green Globes is well suited to sustainability assessment needs of federal government agencies because its interactive, web-enabled platform enables a) a cost effective, and practical assessments of large numbers of buildings, b) a mechanism for tracking building environmental performance through time, c) criteria that overlap with a significant portion of the Federal Guiding Principles, and c) a cost effective, credible third party certification option. These are the attributes that have led to the recent high-volume deployment of Green Globes with Veterans Affairs.

The Green Building Initiative is the exclusive licensee of Green Globes, a nationally recognized green building assessment and rating system. The GBI's Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings is now an ANSI standard.

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