The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous, healthy and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.
More than 55,000 commercial projects participate in the LEED green building certification system, comprising 10.4 billion square feet of construction space in 50 states and 140 countries and territories. In addition, more than 116,000 units have been registered under the LEED for Homes rating system. Nearly 44,000 of those units have been certified under LEED for Homes; nearly half of those units are in the affordable housing sector.
Industry-led and consensus-driven, USGBC is as diverse as the marketplace it serves. Membership includes building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits. Leaders from within each of these sectors participate in the development of the LEED certification system and the direction of the organization through volunteer service on USGBC's open committees.
USGBC's LEED green building program is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings, homes and communities. By using less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
LEED Around the Globe
LEED is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green buildings. LEED's success as a global green building tool is based on many factors, but is primarily due to the leadership and commitment of volunteers, members and partner Green Building Councils around the world. They have recognized the value of LEED as a driver for global market transformation and demonstrated its success on projects outside the U.S. This leadership, along with a commitment to maintaining strong technical rigor, brand integrity and ease of use, has resulted in LEED's adoption in 140 countries and territories.
LEED is a constantly evolving rating system and its international components are no exception. Global consistency and applicability is essential for LEED to achieve the goal of accelerating adoption of sustainable and green building development practices worldwide. LEED's approach to addressing the needs of projects in regions across the world allows for the development of solutions unique to an area while maintaining a common language. The steps USGBC is taking now and in the future are moving us forward, and we must work together to make LEED continue to advance our global effort for market transformation.
The use of LEED outside the United States continues to grow rapidly. At year end 2012, approximately 40% of all square footage pursuing LEED certification existed outside the U.S.
With a growing stock of existing buildings throughout Europe, members of the LEED International Roundtable including Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, led by Green Building Council Italia, are working to address the growing needs of this sector in their area by developing LEED credit options that address geographic and regional issues. In an effort to accelerate sustainable development around the world, USGBC has added Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) for LEED projects in Europe. ACPs are a tool that allows LEED to be more flexible and applicable for a range of building projects across the globe. The first round of ACPs, tailored for Europe, will provide global consistency and new pathways for projects to demonstrate compliance.
Additionally, new Regional Priority Credits have been released for projects using the 2009 versions of LEED for New Construction and are for use in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Turkey. Regional Priority Credits are not new LEED credits, but instead are existing credits that are designated as being particularly important for various regional issues. If project teams achieve a Regional Priority Credit, they receive a bonus point in addition to their project's total points. The additional LEED points available encourage projects to pursue credits that address unique regional environmental priorities. Regional Priority Credits will be expanded to additional countries and rating systems in the future.
USGBC's Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Thousands of building professionals from all over the world come together at Greenbuild for three days of outstanding educational sessions, renowned speakers, a vast exhibition floor, green building tours, special seminars and networking events.
Greenbuild is the three-time recipient of the IMEX Green Meetings Award and Tradeshow Weekly's 50, and received an MPI Rise award for Organizational Achievement in 2010.
The 2013 show will take place Nov. 20-22 in Philadelphia, Penn. The 2012 show was held on Nov. 14-16 in San Francisco, Calif. and drew nearly 25,000 attendees and featured more than 1,660 exhibit booths.
Chapters are the local voice of USGBC, and chapter leaders and members are the heart of USGBC's grassroots efforts. Members join as individuals at one of the 77 chapters and act locally to realize USGBC's mission of transforming the built environment within a generation through education, outreach and advocacy.
USGBC's advocacy team works to influence policy on a large scale to achieve these benefits for our communities, while providing effective tools for change to implementers on the ground. Its advocacy work leverages this extraordinary and growing legacy of achievement to accelerate the uptake of state, local and national policies that advance energy conservation, green building and livable communities. From the 250-plus states and localities that have passed LEED legislation to the Coalition for Better Buildings , the partnership between political advocacy and the green building movement is reflected in accomplishments across the country.
The Center for Green Schools is how USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From the kindergartner entering the classroom, to the Ph.D. student performing research in a lab, the Center provides the resources and support to elevate dialogue, accelerate policy and institute innovation toward green schools and campuses. High-performing schools result in high-performing students, and the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play.
The 2013 Green Apple Day of Service took place on September 28. For one day, advocates from around the world, including students, teachers, parents and elected officials, as well as international green building councils, USGBC staff, chapters, member companies and more, came together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking action in their communities.
Updated October 1, 2013