New reporting initiative helps federal agencies continue their green building leadership
U.S. federal government agencies were some of the earliest adopters of LEED. Over the years, we have seen the federal government build, retrofit and operate some amazing green buildings. To date, the federal government has certified 1,031 buildings to LEED, and another 3,000-plus projects are in the LEED certification pipeline. But with shrinking budgets and numerous requirements on their plates, these agencies need help to streamline their reporting as much as possible. Federal buildings are required to meet federal regulations as well as agency required initiatives, like those agencies that strive for LEED certification. We believe incorporating LEED can and should enhance the reporting process, and we’re introducing a new initiative that will help every federal agency and department better streamline any required green building reporting.
Federal buildings are required to meet the Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings (Guiding Principles), according to Executive Orders 13514 and 13423 for New Construction and Major Renovation as well as the Executive Order 13514 for Existing Buildings. Over the past few years, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been working with federal agencies to develop an offering that will provide third-party verification for projects that meet these Guiding Principles. In addition, we are supporting the ability to crosswalk the Guiding Principles with LEED requirements, and vice versa, so agencies can use one set of documentation, helping reduce and streamline reporting requirements.
Today USGBC is rolling out its Guiding Principles Compliance Initiative (GPCI). The idea behind this service is twofold. First, GPCI removes redundancy in reporting for projects that pursue both LEED and the Guiding Principles, and it provides clarity and guidance on compliance pathways for the Guiding Principles. This solution supports all project types, including those in pursuit of LEED and those that are not — for both New Construction/Major Renovations and Existing Buildings.
GPCI will also help projects that are also pursuing LEED to seamlessly comply with the Guiding Principles. Agencies are looking for guidance on how to verify 100 percent compliance with all elements of the Guiding Principles, and USGBC is proud to be able to offer this new solutions-based Initiative that leverages our depth and breadth of knowledge in the realm of green building certification.
The Guiding Principles compliance paths are flexible and collaborative. USGBC will meet agencies where they are and guide them to where they need to be by adapting the proven success of LEED’s multiple pathway system. GPCI will empower agencies to not only meet their requirements, but also help them go further — all within an easy-to-use framework that won’t require anyone to reinvent the wheel. Eliminating redundant reporting and leveraging the LEED specifications as applicable will help these agencies save time and, more importantly, taxpayer money.