What Are ‘Best Practices’ For Green Building Approaches To Take?

The following questions are valuable to help understand any green building approach:

  • Development Process: From the initial development of each requirement, credit and/or chapter, as well as all updates, does the green building approach use a process that has:
  • Publicly available rules for proposing new or modifying requirements?
  • Inclusion of affected stakeholders during development?
  • A balance of interests on development committees?
  • Consensus decision-making procedures?
  • Written, meaningful responses to comments made by technical experts?
  • Adequate time for stakeholders to review and comment on proposals?
  • A written appeals process?
  • Life Cycle Thinking: Does the approach consider impacts through all stages of the entire lifecycle of a building and recognize all relevant sustainability attributes (e.g. energy use, carbon footprint, water use, maintenance and use-phase impacts, occupant health and safety), thereby avoiding reliance on less robust and incomplete single attribute decision-making?
  • Performance basis: Does the approach set effective goals based on material and system-neutral performance, without prescribing a specific means to an end (for example, setting energy efficiency goals in terms of BTUs per square foot per year, rather than prescriptively mandating a certain HVAC, lighting, and insulation system to save energy)?
  • Environmental/Health Impacts: Does the approach consider potential effects on the environment and human health, using a risk-based approach that considers use and exposure?
  • Voluntary Consensus Standard: Is the approach based on a scientific methodology accepted by a consensus of experts in the relevant discipline?