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Guiding Principles Compliance for new construction of federal buildings

Case Studies | March 1, 2014 | By:

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) launched the Guiding Principles Compliance for New Construction (GPC NC) of federal buildings. The program for assessing building sustainability was developed with extensive input from federal government agencies.

As a sister product to the GBI’s program for existing federal buildings, which to date has been used to certify more than 250 existing federal buildings and facilities, GPC NC was developed to significantly reduce the amount of time and effort required from federal agency personnel to achieve a green building certification, enabling staff to retain focus on the agency’s mission while concurrently measuring progress towards compliance with the Guiding Principles.

The GPC NC Program is the first third-party assessment and rating program designed specifically for federal agencies to assess compliance with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Building, established by Executive Order 13514, issued by President Barack Obama in 2009. The Order mandates that at least 15 percent of existing federal buildings and leases that are over 5,000 square feet must meet Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Guiding Principles by 2015, and that annual progress be made toward 100-percent conformance of all federal buildings, with a goal of 100 percent of all new federal buildings achieving zero-net-energy by 2030.

In response to this mandate, GBI created a straightforward and cost-effective means, utilizing as the basis its existing Green Globes® for new construction rating and certification tool.

GBI’s program includes a third-party on-site assessment, compliance score and rating, detailed reports, and supplemental tools to enhance and clarify the Guiding Principles Compliance process, which focuses on five key areas, which are equally weighted in the assessment:

  • Employ integrated design principles
  • Optimize energy performance
  • Protect and conserve water
  • Enhance indoor environmental quality
  • Reduce environmental impact of materials

Projects are rated on a scale of 0 to 100% compliance, with a minimum score of 40% required for the first level of compliance. There are five levels of compliance, with 100% compliance receiving the highest score.

The GBI is a nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards Developer dedicated to accelerating the adoption of green building practices. Founded in 2004, the organization is the sole U.S. provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification programs.

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