Using Online Technology to Track Green Building Goals

These days, almost every construction project is expected to achieve some level of sustainability. Keeping track of these sustainability goals can be challenging while meeting the project’s timeline. Fortunately, there are tools to help project managers and construction professionals track and reach these goals. Web-based tools like Green Globes guide building teams through the sustainable design, construction, and facility management process and make the added responsibilities easier to manage. The Green Globes online questionnaires help users track how the project aligns with sustainability goals and gauge which level of certification the project might achieve. Final certification is issued after verification of the questionnaire responses by a Green Globes Assessor through a document review and site visit.

It’s never too early to start thinking about certification. In the revised Green Globes Standard from GBI (due out for third public comment in September 2017), projects start earning points as early as the predesign phase. More points are available throughout the design, construction documents, and construction phases.

Many projects miss out on points due to lack of documentation. General contractors and construction managers can help projects achieve points under Green Globes by maintaining clear records and passing them on to the building owner, who can later provide them to the Green Globes Assessor. Specifically, the GC or CM can ensure that the documentation of the Environmental Management System (EMS) includes the following elements:

  • A GC/CM Environmental Policy that supports human health and site-environment during construction.
  • A list of the Compliance Manager’s qualifications, role, responsibilities, and reporting compliance structure with an indication of how information is distributed to project personnel and subcontractors.
  • Evidence that an assessment was conducted before construction to identify risks that could impact human health and the ecological environment surrounding the immediate area of construction and local agency requirements.
  • A construction management policy prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of the building perimeter and construction zone during the construction phase.

If a building owner decides to pursue Green Globes certification for a project that is already under development, having this documentation already in their possession might help the building achieve a higher level of certification. With the documentation in hand, it’s a simple matter for project managers to input the information into Green Globes’ online tool.

By Emily Randolph, GBI Technical Writer

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