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2007 Climate Action Plan

U.S. Green Building Council Announces Climate Action Plan Focusing On LEED Buildings

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At the Greenbuild 2006 International Conference & Expo, (November 15-17, in Denver) Rick Fedrizzi, the president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), unveiled the organization’s new eight-point plan to combat climate change. Here’s a summary:

1. The 50% CO2 reduction goal

Beginning in 2007, all new commercial Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) projects will be required to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% when compared to current emission levels. This proposal goes to USGBC members for approval in December. USGBC is developing a similar recommendation for residential construction.

2. Increased energy reduction prerequisites in LEED

Subject to USGBC member approval, all commercial LEED projects would be required to achieve at least two energy and optimization credits.

3. Implementation of a carbon dioxide offset program

USGBC will develop a carbon dioxide offset program that relies on the verified performance data from LEED projects.

4. Continuous process improvement incentives

All LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) and Core and Shell (LEED-CS) certified buildings will automatically be registered for LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) at no cost.

5. Pushing the envelope on performance — certification fees rebates for Platinum buildings

USGBC will fully rebate certification fees for Platinum buildings.

6. A Carbon neutral USGBC

By the end of 2007, USGBC will be 100% carbon neutral. And, next week, USGBC moves into a LEED Gold building in Washington, D.C.

7. Portfolio Performance Program

To recognize companies for energy and water efficiency at multiple locations, and to accelerate LEED certifications, USGBC is launching its Portfolio Performance Program. This week, as part of a pilot project, USGBC certified 18 PNC bank branches. Among the market leaders advising the pilot program are representatives from the California Department of General Services, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Merced.

8. Carbon Reduction Education, and a Challenge to the Industry

In early 2007, USGBC will launch a new professional curriculum designed to help industry professionals learn energy-efficient construction practices. USGBC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Clinton Climate Initiative (e-Newswire, 8/09/06) to provide technical assistance and expertise in green building practices to the largest cities in the world through the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group.

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