Green Rating Systems

We partner with you to develop smart solutions for your projects—using green rating systems to achieve the best results.

Download the Overview (PDF, 906KB)

What does a green rating do for you?

Enhances the design process

Green rating systems offer guidelines and metrics that improve collaboration and provide a framework that defines "sustainability" and links project issues and solutions within the context of sustainability. For the Argonne National Laboratory Energy Sciences Building, the design team held open meetings and workshops for interested scientists and staff members; fostering connections even before the building was completed.

Provides economic benefits

Using a green rating system often results in a more efficient, durable and resilient project. Utilizing a sustainability framework helps to reduce waste and energy costs and provides opportunities for tax incentives and long-term operating cost savings. The Fort Bliss Hospital Replacem illustrates the economic benefits of reviewing sustainable technology design alternatives.

Reduces risk

Green rating systems focus attention on project goals, means and methods. Green projects are better prepared to mitigate the severe impacts of natural disasters. These projects are also better designed to prevent losses from fire and plumbing damage and withstand unpredictable energy prices. The Interdisciplinary High Performance Computational Cer is a great example of lowering energy use and dependence on outside energy.

Adds a competitive advantage

Green rating systems challenge teams to look at the project from new angles that present possibilities for reducing costs, extending project life, attracting investors, appealing to stakeholders and the public, improving community well-being and many other benefits that increase the owner's competitive edge and the project's ROI. LEED is the rating system informing the design of the Humber River Hospital, which will be the first fully digital hospital in North America.

Increases accountability

Green rating systems link sustainability policy to planning and design, to help ensure the overall project vision is used throughout the process. These rating systems also promote stakeholder participation and provide milestones, which help to monitor progress and keep the project team on track. For the Holland Energy Park, the project team worked closely with the community of Holland, which was engaged extensively in almost every aspect of planning and design.

Improves quality of life

Projects designed with the sustainable framework of a green rating system create more livable and resilient communities with reduced waste, opportunities to conserve and protect natural ecosystems, and residents who enjoy improved air and water quality. The Georgia-Tech Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory sets a new standard for sustainable design for buildings of its type and acts as a prototype living, learning laboratory.

Offers recognition

A project that earns a green rating is more visible within the community due to opportunities for media, press releases and public relations communications. Green ratings also lead to greater tenant acceptance, enhance owner image, build political capital and improve potial for other project awards. The William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery received extensive media attention after earning the first Envision™ project award.

The Systems We Use


Managed by: Building Research Establishm (BRE)

Launched in 1990 and used across Europe, BREEAM is an environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, which has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognized measures of a building's environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimizing the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies. Examples of our BREEAM projects include The Pirbright Institute, Kings College Chemical Biology Building and The Roslin Institute Building at the University of Edinburgh.


Managed by: Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)

Launched in 2012, Envision™ is a planning and design guidance tool that provides industry-wide sustainability metrics for all infrastructure types. The rating system evaluates, grades and gives recognition to infrastructure projects that use transformational, collaborative approaches to assess the sustainability indicators over the course of the project's life cycle. Launched in 2012, the tool was created by a strategic alliance of the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). ISI is a not-for-profit education and research organization, dedicated to developing and maintaining a civil infrastructure rating system. ISI was formed by the American Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies and American Society of Civil Engineers. For more information, view our Fast Facts. Examples of our Envision™ projects include the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery and the Holland Energy Park

Estidama Pearl

Managed by: Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

Estidama, which is the Arabic word for sustainability, is an initiative developed and promoted by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC). The program, which is the first of its kind tailored to the Middle East Region, began two years ago. The ultimate goal of Estidama is to preserve and enrich Abu Dhabi's physical and cultural identity, while creating an always improving quality of life for its residents on four equal pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, social, and cultural. Estidama arose from the need to properly plan, design, construct and operate sustainable developments with respect to the traditions embedded within the rich local culture on one hand and the harsh climatic nature of the region on the other. An example of our Pearl projects is the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Hospital.

Green Globes

Managed by: Green Building Initiative (GBI)

Green Globes is an online green building rating and certification tool that is used primarily in Canada and the USA. Green Globes was developed by ECD Energy and Environm Canada, an arms-length division of JLL. Green Globes is licensed for use by BOMA Canada (Existing Buildings) and the Green Building Initiative in the USA (New and Existing Buildings). Examples of our Green Globes projects include the National Cancer Institute, Advanced Technology Research Facility and the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Green Star

Managed by: Green Building Council Australia

Based in Australia, Green Star is a comprehensive, national, voluntary environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings and communities. Green Star was developed by the Green Building Council Australia, whose objective is to promote sustainable development and the transition of the property industry by promoting green building programs, technologies, design practices and operations. Green Star has established individual environmental measurement criteria with particular relevance to the Australian marketplace and environmental context. Examples of our Green Star projects include Coca-Cola Place, Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Novartis Australia Campus.


Managed by: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

In October 2012, FHWA launched INVEST (Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool) as a practical, web-based, collection of voluntary best practices designed to help transportation agencies integrate sustainability into their programs and projects. The use of INVEST is voluntary and helps transportation agencies identify characteristics of sustainable highways and provides information and techniques to them integrate sustainability best practices into highway and other roadway projects. An example of our INVEST projects is the Minnesota Sustainable Highways Evaluation.


Managed by: US Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus based process, LEED serves as a tool for buildings of all types and sizes. LEED certification offers third party validation of a project's green features and verifies that the building is operating exactly the way it was designed to. Examples of our LEED projects include the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Shoreway Environmal Cer and University of Oregon Lewis Integrative Science Building.

Sustainable Sites Initiative™

Managed by: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Cer at the University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) began in 2006 as a joint effort of the ASLA and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Cerent. The program was created to promote sustainable land development and management practices that can apply to sites with and without buildings including, but not limited to: open spaces such as local, state and national parks, conservation easements and buffer zones and transportation rights-of-way; and sites with buildings including industrial, retail and office parks, military complexes, airports, botanical gardens, streetscapes and plazas, residential and commercial developments and public and private campuses. The program provides tools to those who influence land development and management practices and can address increasingly urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. Examples of our SITES™ projects include Historic Fourth Ward Park and Hunts Point Landing.


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