We have found that there can be a few key driving forces in going green:
-Regulations, ordinances or other local requirements.
-Funding or investor requirement
-Corporate culture of owner, developer, design or construction team
-Desire for reduced operating costs and reduced resource consumption
There are global, national, state, and local green building programs.
The green building program that you select depends on the specific project goals you are pursuing, government regulations, or funding source requirements.
Florida Green Building Green certification programs exist to certify all different types of builidings including: local governments, land developments, high rise residential buildings, commercial building, multi-family buildings and single family residences.
As a general rule, all of the building programs address key categories such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, sustainable sites, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources. Each program requires achieving a minimum number of points in various categories to achieve certification. Each program is verified by a third party and is governed by committees and boards of directors. The programs vary in how credits are presented. Some are prescriptive and some are performance based certification point totals as well as membership and certification fees. Local and regional programs are also designed to address climate specifics and regional variations.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the set of green building standards created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that are administered by the Green Building Certification Institutes (GBCI). The LEED programs have excellent brand recognition.
Studies conducted by the GSA, Army Corp, and State and local governments vary in complexity and conclusions. LEED is a 110 point based system, while FGBC uses +/- 400 points depending on the standard. Green Globes uses 1000 points, and NGBS uses +/- 1500 depending on project specifics. In a recent comparison, each credit in each standard was compared to both LEED 2009 and LEED v4. This resulted in USGBC LEED and FGBC being equivalent. Green Globes was slightly more stringent and NGBS was significantly less stringent.
The phrase green building is used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, green building represents a physical structure that exists as a result of environmentally friendly design and the construction process. As a verb, green building seeks to increase the efficiency of energy, water, and materials use in buildings, both residential and commercial, and to reduce their environmental and health impacts. Properly applied green standards can improve health, save energy and water, and reduce waste.
A green building is exactly what it sounds like: a building that has been made "green." This can apply to a residence or a commercial building. A green development consists of an entire project whether it is a residential community or a commercial development project. A residential development project, for instance, may be developed using "green building" practices that demand fewer non-renewable resources and provide a healthier environment for residents.