The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently released the results of a study that explored methods of achieving sustainable design objectives in its buildings.

The findings concluded that the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED system may be the best available rating system for a whole building integrated design approach aimed to deliver optimal performance in GSA buildings.

Conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the study evaluated BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Method), Green Globes U.S., and two others.

The elements identified as critical to their design needs included: (1) a system applicable to the large scale and complexity of federal buildings, (2) a stable rating system so that evaluation of a building is not subject to drastic change, (3) a system that tracks quantifiable achievements in sustainable design and is third-party verified by a qualified assessor, and (4) a system used in the current market with practitioner awareness. For more, visit