The U.S. Green Building Council, acting through the USGBC Research Program, takes access of visual and statistical information on LEED Certified properties to a new technological level. The Research Program has debuted the initial phase of the GIS-based Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG), an information technology system that will have the real estate industry and proponents of sustainable development literally seeing green.
Unparalleled images of the national green building terrain are the central feature of GBIG, but it is the accompanying detailed information that makes the customizable system a wide-ranging resource for all things green in the development world. “GBIG is intended to provide a comprehensive and analytically derived view of green building practice,” Ashley Katz, communications manager with USGBC, tells MHN. “GBIG reveals the trends and patterns in green real estate at the level of individual properties and the types of green strategies implemented within buildings. It will also complement other data products that are widely used by real estate professionals when making investment decisions and conducting market analyses.”
GBIG’s first phase covers the state of Illinois and consists of three pilot projects: the GBIG Pilot for Illinois, GBIG Analyst and GBIG Explorer.
The GBIG Pilot is a web-based portal that provides details on green building projects across the state, statistics on the prevalence and expansion of LEED Certified projects over time, as well as information that allows for the comparison of projects to state averages or other subsets by certification standard and Carbon Index values.
The other two segments of GBIG’s first phase consist of mobile applications that can be used with either iPhones or iPads and downloaded free of charge. GBIG Analyst offers a database of LEED Certified developments that can be categorized by credit and Carbon Index values and compared to state averages. GBIG Explorer is a more specific application, providing photos, text and an interactive GPS map for 250 LEED Certified projects in metropolitan Chicago.
Options for searching and retrieving information and trends through GBIG are very diverse, extending beyond just LEED status. And no property type is excluded. “The GBIG platform can represent other instances of green building practice that may focus on multifamily residential,” Katz says, adding that “the current version of the GBIG Pilot includes a set of Enterprise Green Communities in the state of Illinois.”
GBIG Pilot, GBIG Analyst and GBIG Explorer are just the beginning of the multi-phase development plan. “In time, GBIG will represent all green building markets and LEED project information will be updated continuously,” she adds. “Information from other sources who share data with us will update at varying intervals, depending upon the data-sharing architecture and relationships we establish with our partners.”