Portland’s Green Building Initiative scored a coup on Friday for its industry-friendly alternative to the LEED green-building rating system.

The U.S. General Services Administration formally recommended that each federal agency choose either LEED, (Leadership in Energy and the Environment), or the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system to certify new green buildings or major retrofits of existing buildings. In the past, the GSA only recommended the use of LEED to guide and certify environmental improvements at federal buildings.

GSA also recommended that agencies stick to one of the two systems for all their green-building certifications, rather than blending the two systems.

That should be a huge lift for Green Globes, run by a small nonprofit but backed by powerful commercial building suppliers.

As reported in the Portland Tribune last week, Green Globes has been used to certify 850 green building projects around the country, while LEED has been used for more than 55,000 projects around the world.

The timber industry, chemical and plastics industries have funded and nurtured Green Globes, which they view as more favorable to use of their products than LEED.

Environmental groups accuse the Green Building Initiative of greenwashing, and say it is less rigorous than LEED.

But the GSA has concluded that either system will suffice for federal agencies.

For more on the controversy, see

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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