Whole building rating systems:
Consider the performance of the entire assembly of the building, including the structural and mechanical systems.
Consider performance from multiple criteria.
Often requires verification of the design and/or the in-situ performance to ensure that ratings targets are met.
Often provides certification to prove that ratings targets have been met.
Often specify particular component rating systems to meet certain targets
Material and component rating systems:
Address the performance of individual materials, mechanical devices, or appliances.
Considers performance from at least one, but sometimes multiple, criteria.
Provides certification to a manufacturer to prove that ratings targets have been met.
Exist independently of any whole building rating systems.
When choosing any kind of rating system to follow, it is important to have a well-grounded sense of your own criteria and goals. If a particular system speaks to all of your goals, then it is a good match. If it only speaks to a few of your goals, there may be a better choice, or you may choose to rely only on those certain aspects of the rating system.
The tables below attempt to correlate a range of the most trusted rating systems with the criteria we have employed to determine the minimum level of performance required.