The construction industry consumes a significant amount of energy. Heavy consumption of energy results in sustainability problems. Sustainable building projects need to manage their energy consumption in all the phases of construction, including production and transportation of materials and equipment, performance of construction activities, and operation and maintenance. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most extensively used green building certification systems around the world. In this system, the "energy and atmosphere" category accounts for 32% of the points that a building can receive. Some countries apply LEED and some have modified it by taking into account regional conditions. Existing inspection agencies, standards, adversities encountered in usage, education, technical know-how, experience, and renewable energy supply are reviewed with respect to "energy and atmosphere" in India, Abu Dhabi, and Turkey, and are compared against the situation in the U.S. The study finds that India has slightly modified the U.S. system, Abu Dhabi has developed its own certification system, and Turkey appears to be in the early stages of developing a certification system. The findings indicate that the differences between countries stem from the differences in the standards, laws, and regulations that are in place in the respective countries. While mostly U.S. standards are used in India, proprietary standards have been created in Abu Dhabi to accommodate the local conditions, and Turkey is struggling to find the middle way. The study is expected to function as a guideline for other developing countries in the process of setting up their certification systems. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.