U.S. Green Building Council files for ANSI accreditation, adds associations to membership

The U.S. Green Building Council would like to develop recognized standards related to green building practices based on its LEED Green Building Rating System...

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 9, 2005 -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has filed an application with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to become an ANSI accredited national standards developer for standards related to green building practices.

"Since its beginnings more than a decade ago, USGBC has used a consensus process to develop the LEED Green Building Rating System," commented USGBC president, CEO and founding chairman Rick Fedrizzi. "Becoming ANSI-accredited will underscore USGBC's commitment to its core values, which include openness, inclusiveness, and collaboration. It is also part of the continual improvement of USGBC"

LEED®, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is USGBC's chief program for accelerating the adoption of sustainable building practices. A voluntary, consensus based rating system, LEED delivers a sound and certifiable basis for identifying buildings that represent leadership in the use of sustainable building practices and design. LEED aims to recognize the top 25% of building practices and reward those that are pushing the bar in the development of innovative and high performing buildings.

In tandem with its ANSI filing, USGBC also announced an amendment to its bylaws to expand USGBC's membership to include trade and professional associations.

"Opening our membership to professional and trade associations that represent different communities within our diverse industry will only strengthen our ability to lead the transformation of the built environment," said Fedrizzi. "It allows us to more fully engage our long-time partners in green building; it gives us greater access to the knowledge and experience of those who make the materials used in buildings; and it underscores our deep commitment to openness of new ideas, balance among interests, and transparency in assessment and decision-making."

The stakes are high, Fedrizzi said, noting that the built environment has a profound impact on the natural environment, the economy, and human health and productivity. For instance, in the United States, buildings account for 36% of total annual energy use, 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of raw materials use, and 12% of potable water consumption. Employing sustainable building practices can reduce the environmental impacts of buildings by conserving natural resources, reducing solid waste, and improving air quality; provide economic benefits by reducing energy costs and water bills; and provide health and community benefits by improving productivity, enhancing comfort and health, and reducing strain on local infrastructure.

"Americans spend 90% of our time indoors," said Fedrizzi. "We should be doing all we can, as fast as we can, to make sure our interior environments are healthy places that enhance our own and our children's ability to work, heal, and learn. USGBC takes its leadership role in this effort seriously, and we feel these two initiatives will add to our momentum in moving the market forward."

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. The five major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. LEED Rating Systems are currently available for New Construction, Commercial Interiors and Existing Buildings. In addition, rating systems for Core & Shell, Neighborhood Development and Homes are currently in progress. The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the guideline for sustainable building. To date, USGBC has certified over 260 LEED projects and over 2100 have registered with the intent to certify.

ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations (SDOs). These groups work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards. Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of American National Standards meet the Institute's essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process. For more information: www.ansi.org

The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Since its founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 5,600 member companies and organizations; 20,000+ LEED Accredited Professionals; a portfolio of LEED rating systems than span the full lifecycle of commercial buildings; comprehensive educational offerings; the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference & Expo; and a network of 67 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups. For more information: www.usgbc.org

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