CHICAGO – The Green Building Initiative (GBI) launched a certification program specific to design of interiors of commercial and institutional buildings. The announcement was made at NeoCon 2014 in Chicago by GBI president Jerry Yudelson.
The new program, Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors, focuses exclusively on the sustainable design and construction of interior spaces in non-residential buildings. it can be pursued by either building owners, or by individual lessees of commercial spaces.
Tenants can focus on both designing anew or on improving existing interior space to Green Globes standards - regardless of whether the building as a whole meets the standard or applies for it.
Similar to the Green Globes for New Construction program, Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors includes a dual-pathway approach to materials choices for interior fit-outs, utilizing either life-cycle assessment (LCA) or Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Interior designers are rewarded for using multi-purpose furniture, modular furniture and casework solutions, and other interior fit-out elements that can be easily reconfigured.
Additional points are awarded for reuse of existing interior fit-outs, including finishes, furnishings, and other non-structural elements. The “level” sustainability standard of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association is incorporated into the program.
“It enables tenants to certify the specific environmental and sustainability attributes of the space they lease,” Yudelson said. “Other certifications include aspects of the entire building and surroundings, and as a result tenant improvements can be penalized for conditions they do not control.” The Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors program requires that interior designers and tenant project teams address only those sustainability criteria within their “domain of influence,” according to Yudelson.
Similar to other green rating systems, Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors uses a third-party assessor who reviews actual building characteristics and documentation, tallying it on a 1,000-point scale with weighted criteria. The number of points assigned individual criteria reflects their relative impact or benefit to sustainability of the tenant improvements, in six areas:
• Project Management
• Materials & Resources
• Emissions & Other Impacts
• Indoor Environment.
Yudelson says Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors emphasizes key performance indicators of energy, materials and indoor environment, and does not deal with site characteristics, resulting in lower costs for certification.
“The Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors program will be especially attractive to tenants who want to improve their work space sustainability in situations where a landlord does not plan to address changes in other tenant or common spaces,” Yudelson said.
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