Discover Green Building with GBIG

Wed, 2014-01-15 09:54

The USGBC has developed a tool to increase the transparency of LEED certification and to support the growth of green building worldwide. Through the creation of a comprehensive, searchable, web-based system that offers free access to the public, it is easier than ever to research details of green building projects. The search engine and data platform are known simply as GBIG, which stands for Green Building Information Gateway, and can be found at The online resource puts information at the fingertips of project teams, LEED professionals, portfolio managers, investors, product manufacturers, researchers, and the general public to enhance collaboration, benchmarking, and market transformation.

The Basics – How to Use GBIG

The website is separated into a few basic categories: buildings, places, activities, collections, and strategies. Let’s take a look at what each is designed to do.

Buildings & Places

If you are interested in the details of a particular building or regional area, or if you are curious about a particular entity’s commitment to green building, you can look up certifications by location or other keywords. For example, I put in the name of Everblue’s client, Humanscale, and found several of their locations, with details of the types of certifications or awards earned. This may include LEED, ENERGY STAR, AIA awards, and many others.

screen shot building search

To dig deeper, click on the address to find out more about strategies implemented at each specific location. The LEED dashboard for each location allows you to view points earned in each LEED credit category and evaluate how the building compares to others.

screen shot LEED dashboard

By simply selecting the Places tab, you will get a nice snapshot of the ranking of countries and cities around the world, based on green building profiles.


Activities are any events within a building related to green building design, management, construction, etc. This includes: commercial interior build-outs, retrofits of existing buildings, new green construction, ongoing performance monitoring, and other commitments to sustainability. The activities section makes it easy to search for different types of certifications, rating systems, technologies, and case studies. I did a search in the Service/Technology category for Chicago Green Roofs and found 359 activities to review, with the option to filter that list by other details.

screen shot activities


The collections section of GBIG contains data on green buildings that are categorized by a common theme and can be compared using the same key indicators and metrics. Collections may group buildings according to location, owner or investor, or successful implementation of certain green building strategies. For example, under the Space Type collection, there is a category for Professional Sports Venues where you can review activities to find out which sports franchises are leading the way in green building at stadiums and practice facilities.


To research details of a specific green building practice, check out the Strategies section. You can find out more about projects that have implemented approaches such as brownfield redevelopment, building reuse, heat island reduction, green power, daylighting, and more. For LEED-certified buildings, you can click on the Strategies tab to see a listing of the specific LEED credit categories that were addressed within the building.

Building a Custom Search

By clicking on the Advanced Activities Search hyperlink on the home page, you can set up a customized query based on the various categories of information available.

screen shot custom search 

A Useful Resource

The GBIG website is a robust resource of data available to anyone interested in, or involved in, green building. It allows for better sharing of information to enhance innovation and growth of sustainability in the built environment. If you are inspired by what you see and want to further your green building education, check out Everblue’s LEED training courses.

By Amy Malloy

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