The LEED Green Interior and Construction Guide is hundreds of pages long, and there are similar long lists of requirements for green certification in other countries. There's a reason why the U.S. Green Building Council, for example, offers courses to become a LEED Accredited Professional. In short, there's a lot to know when it comes to green building, which is why some consultants, builders and designers specialize in it. And just like any other commercial construction project, there are lots of different people involved and invested in the process.
Companies have developed collaborative green design software to help make it easier to compare and contrast all of the different green building options available. One popular service, Sefaira Concept, has won a lot of awards -- including the 2011 Green Innovation of the Year at EcoBuild, a huge green design and construction event held in London. Sefaira is cloud-based, so everyone accesses it online instead of having to buy and load a program onto their computer. It allows designers to do things like set up and run scenarios showing the costs and benefits of using an energy source like wind turbines -- down to including details like the size of the blades on the turbine and how they'll be oriented. Or they can project water usage for the type and size of building and then look at how recycled water or graywater systems can best be used to reduce the amount of necessary potable water. Sefaira's software and other types of green design software help commercial buildings live up to their full potential when it comes to going green.