PORTLAND, OR – A recent Drexel University study found that the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes certification process costs significantly less to conduct and is faster to finish than LEED certification.

Green Globes Certification Costs Less than LEED: Drexel Study The final report, prepared by Jeffrey Beard, an associate professor in the Department of Construction Management at Drexel’s College of Engineering, is titled “A Study of Comparative Sustainability Certification Costs/Green Rating System Cost Comparison Study: LEED and Green Globes.” Beard’s research examined intrinsic hard costs, soft costs and optional costs.

The research was limited to the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building at Drexel’s West Philadelphia campus. The five-story, 130,000-square-foot laboratory and classroom building opened in 2011. The Papadakis Building received three Green Globes from GBI and a LEED Gold rating from the US Green Building Council.

A key difference in the two rating systems that was found by the study was the cost of using each for the Papadakis building. The breakdown summarized in the university’s records shows internal (staff time) expenses at Drexel for administering both systems were more than $125,000 for LEED versus $9,000 for Green Globes.

The report’s summary also shows combined green building costs, for example hard cost premium, soft costs and optional costs for sustainability rating, nearly 15 percent higher for LEED than for Green Globes.