Other Ratings & Standards

Photo: Elekhh. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.


Standards and rating systems have been at the heart of the green building movement at least since U.S. energy standards for buildings (like ASHRAE 90.1) started ratcheting up following the 1970s energy crisis.

If you care about health and sustainability, you can now rely on dozens of ratings and standards for buildings as well as things in and around them, including:

  • Lab protocols for chemical emissions from finishes and furniture

  • Testing methods for durability of paints, textiles, and many other products

  • Standards for energy use, ventilation, thermal comfort, and more

  • Rating systems for schools, healthcare facilities, parking garages, landscapes, and healthy spaces
  • LEDs Get Energy Star Label, Amid Controversy

    News Analysis

    Just before a Department of Energy standard for Energy Star LEDs becomes effective, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its own standard, taking the industry by surprise.

  • Mazria Publishes Code Equivalents for 2030 Challenge

    News Analysis

    Architecture 2030 has published a white paper showing the amount by which buildings have to beat various codes to meet the 50% energy reductions called for by the 2030 Challenge. More than a dozen codes and standards are presented, with 20%-30% improvement required for most.

  • Jones Lang LaSalle Gives Green Globes a Boost

    News Analysis

    Property management and brokerage giant Jones Lang LaSalle now owns the creator of the Green Globes rating system, which it hopes to leverage into enhanced capabilities for assessing the environmental responsibility of clients' buildings and entire real estate portfolios.

  • Use of Home Energy Rating Index Grows

    News Analysis

    The HERS Index, an energy rating system based on a straightforward scale that puts a net-zero home at zero and a basic code-built home at 100, has been adopted by a variety of programs that evaluate the environmental performance of homes.

  • Higher Occupancy, Higher Lease Rates for Green Buildings

    News Analysis

    A new study from CoStar Group finds that buildings that carry LEED or Energy Star certifications have higher occupancy rates and lease for more money than their peers.

  • Carbon Offsets Get Oversight

    News Analysis

    Carbon offsets have become a popular way to fight climate change, but the market for them has been plagued by doubts about integrity. A new certification program as well attention from federal regulators may help to address key concerns.

  • NAHB Launches National Green Building Program

    News Analysis

    The National Association of Homebuilders has unveiled its National Green Building Program, along with a Certified Green Professional program.

  • Group to Create Rating System for Landscapes

    News Analysis

    Forthcoming guidelines from the Sustainable Sites Initiative will lead to a rating system for landscapes.

  • California Fire Codes Put Focus on Plastic Decking Concerns

    News Analysis

    A California code designed to protect homes from wildfires limits some plastic lumber decking products.

  • Integrated Design Process Standard Approved

    News Analysis

    An ANSI-approved standard provides guidelines for the integrated design process.