Green buildings sector achieves key milestone

April 10, 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced that the 12,000th commercial project has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. According to a release from the organization, the LEED green building program was launched in 2000 and has led to a significant change in policies regarding the real estate market and sustainability.

"Twelve years after the first 12 projects earned LEED certification, the green building community has reached a significant milestone," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "The momentum for green buildings is rippling around the globe, enhancing the built environment for generations to come."

The release noted that the 12,000th project is the LEED Gold Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge – a facility that was rebuilt with funding from the Recovery Act. Following the destruction of the original property during Hurricane Ike, federal money was injected into rebuilding efforts and a preference for green and sustainable products and materials was then emphasized by the builders and owners.

Fedrizzi spoke to the importance of the 12,000-project milestone, as he noted that it came right as the LEED program was being restructured and a continuous improvement project reached its next stage.

"With these next changes, LEED will continue in its role as a catalyst for transformation of the built environment to ever higher standards of sustainable practice," noted the president and CEO. "Even in these challenging times, it’s clear that green building is a movement whose time is now."

The USGBC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are working with organizations across the country in order to promote the use and construction of green and sustainable buildings and technology.

The DOE designated a specific project as one of its innovation HUBs, as the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) will help stimulate progression in the green building sector.

The GPIC will help to design and develop energy efficient buildings and technology for the sector, as well as working to provide models for companies and governments around the U.S. for green and sustainable structures.

The GPIC offers and hosts a series of conferences and events that provide information and networking resources for companies in the Greater Philadelphia region. According to the GPIC website, the HUB will host "Prospering in the Sustainable Economy" as a way to educate people about using green and sustainable projects and technology to make a positive change in the world.