Voluntary Green Building Programs

Green Globes Building Certification logo


Green Globes® is a consensus green rating assessment, guidance and certification program based on the first ANSI-approved standard for commercial green building, ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. An updated standard is due in 2016.

Recently, the Green Building Initiative (GBI), which owns the rights to Green Globes for New Construction and Green Globes for Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings in the U.S., updated the Green Globes for New Construction (NC) program based on the first ANSI-approved standard for commercial green building, ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings.

To receive a final rating of one, two, three or four globes, the data submitted online must be assessed by a GBI-approved and Green Globes-trained licensed engineer or architect with significant experience in building sciences and sustainability.  Using the project’s working drawings, building specifications, waste disposal plans, evidence of energy and life cycle modeling and other support materials, the assessor reviews the submission and confirms that the percentage of points achieved – which the system has determined on the basis of the answers to the Construction Documents questionnaire – is supported by fact.

Third-party assessment is optional but required for external recognition as a Green Globes certified building. Once an assessment is verified by a third party (including a site inspection), properties achieving a score of 35 percent or more receive a Green Globes rating based on the percentage of total points (up to 1,000) achieved. A building’s roof can qualify for the attainment of up to 14.5 points:

  • Under section (Heat Island Effect), a reflective roof and/or vegetated roof can contribute directly to the attainment of up to 6 points. For buildings located in Climate Zones 1 through 5, 40% or more of the exposed opaque surface of a low slope roof cover must be installed with a vegetated (green) and/or roofing material with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of 78 or greater.
  • Under section 3.5.7 (Building Envelope – Roofing/Openings), 8.5 points can be directly attained provided that manufacturer installation instructions and recommendations are followed as confirmed by inspections by the roof system manufacturer or a registered roof consultant for the roofing system, including flashings and roof openings.

Roofing can also contribute toward the attainment of up to 85.5 additional points of the 1,000. The table below shows both the direct and contributory criteria and corresponding points, as detailed in the Green Globes for New Construction Technical Reference Manual: PDF icon

Criteria Direct Contributory Heat Island Effect 6 points
3.2.3 Storm Water Management 5 points Thermal Resistance and Transmittance 10 points
3.3.8 Renewable Sources of Energy 23 points
3.5.1 Building Assembly 33 points Construction Waste 6 points
3.5.7 Building Envelope – Roofing/Openings 8.5 points Air Barriers 4 points
3.7.2 Source Control and Measurement of Indoor Pollutants 2.5 points
3.7.5 Acoustic Comfort 2 points
Totals 14.5 points 85.5 points
LEED logo


The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a voluntary, continuously evolving national standard for developing high performance sustainable buildings. LEED provides standards for choosing products, but does not certify products.

The criteria for Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2, Heat Island Effect: Roof, can often be met through the use of a white reflective vinyl roof or a green, planted roof. Specifically, the criteria call for using roofing materials having a solar reflectance index (SRI) of at least 78 for a minimum of 75 percent of the roof surface, or installing a vegetated roof for at least 50 percent of the roof area, or installing high albedo and vegetated roof surfaces that, in combination, meet this formula: (Area of SRI Roof / 0.75) + (Area of vegetated roof / 0.5) ≥ Total Roof Area. LEED allows for a lower SRI if the weighted rooftop SRI average meets the following criterion: (Area of SRI roof/Total roof area)*(SRI of installed roof/Required SRI) ≥ 75%.

Examples of LEED-certified buildings with PVC roofing material are:

Building Name Owner Location LEED Level
Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California,Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California Platinum
McDonald's Restaurant at Abercorn Common Melaver Inc. Savannah, Georgia Gold
Frito-Lay Jim Rich Service Center Frito-Lay, Inc. Rochester, New York Gold
Edifice Multifunction Travaux Public et Services Gouvernementaux Canada Montreal, Quebec Gold
The Plaza at PPL Center Liberty Property Trust Allentown, Penn. Gold
Combined Transportation Emergency & Communications Center City of Austin Austin, Texas Silver
Management Building, Technology Square Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia Silver
Seattle Central Library City of Seattle Seattle, Wash. Silver
National Geography Society Headquarters Complex National Geographic Society Washington, D.C. Silver
QS/1 Data Systems QS/1 Spartanburg, S.C. Silver
50 Sewall Street medical building Olympia Development Portland, Maine Certified
Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio Certified
Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse (renovation) Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monroe, Michigan Certified
Utah Olympic Oval Salt Lake City Organizing Committee of the Olympic Winter Games 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah Certified
Premier Automotive Group North American Headquarters Ford Motor Company Irvine, California Certified
Sat Com ETL Facility Raytheon Systems Company Marlborough, Mass. Certified
Stata Center Massachusetts Institute of Technology Boston, Mass. Certified
Duke University French Science Center Duke University Office at the University Architect Durham, N.C. Certified