U.S. GSA approves Green Globes as an alternative to LEED

A letter from the U.S. General Services Administration on 25 October 2013 has leveled the playing field for rating systems in the U.S. The letter, addressed to the Secretary of Energy makes six new recommendations for the Federal government's use of green building certification systems. The recommendations were developed after an evaluation of existing systems carried out by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and were followed by input from advisory groups.

In brief, the recommendations include the following:

1. Agencies should continue to use third-party certification systems;

iiSBE Net Zero Built Environment Working Group Symposium and Call for Papers

This is the first announcement and call for papers and presentations for the organizational meeting and symposium for the Net Zero Built Environment (nZ-BE) Working Group of iiSBE (the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment). This meeting and symposium are open to practitioners, academics, researchers, manufacturers, and policymakers. The event will take place on 6-7 March 2014 in Rinker Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida USA.

iiSBE Annual General Meeting is coming up

The iiSBE Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in conjunction with the SB13 event in Graz (Austria) starting at 13:30 on 25 September. In addition to the election of new Directors, there will be discussion of progress in the SB conference series, detailed presentation on plans for the SB Challenge project for 2014, and a discussion of strategic issues, led by Greg Foliente. The AGM will be chaired by Luis Braganza, President of iiSBE.

Please note that iiSBE members are eligible for a 40 Euro discount on the SB13 Graz registration fees.

Annex 57 meets

The IEA Annex 57 research group on “Evaluation of Embodied Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Building Construction” was held on 22nd and 23rd April in Munich, Germany. This was the second meeting of the working phase of this group, which held a previous meeting in Cambridge in October 2012, as well as two preparatory meetings in Helsinki in 2011 and in Porto in May 2012. The group includes 29 participants from 17 countries.

Open House meets in Brussels

On Thursday, 25 July, we attended the Brussels Launch Event for the Open House (OH) project.

As stated by the OH steering group… the OPEN HOUSE project aims to merge existing methodologies for sustainability assessment of buildings towards a common view. With the aim of being widely adopted in Europe, the OPEN HOUSE methodology is developed in a fully transparent, collective and open process, with extensive communication and interaction between all stakeholders.

The small Brussels workshop event marked the successful completion of this project, which is of considerable interest from technical, process and market viewpoints. The many actors in this field range from essentially commercial systems such as BREEAM, DGNB, HQE and LEED; to NGOs with a permanent interest in the area but no specific system; and finally to government-funded research groups set up to encourage the development of a common model of building performance assessment within a defined time frame.