AGC Attends Greenbuild; Reports on USGBC Initiatives
In November 2006, an AGC staff member attended Greenbuild — an annual conference held by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) — to stay current with green advances and to maintain AGC's relationship with the council and other groups that focus on green construction. Following is a brief overview of the conference.
Approximately 13,500 people met in Denver, Colo. last month for the 2006 Greenbuild Conference and Expo to learn about the range of available and emerging LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) products and services. During the conference, USGBC held 12 educational tracks that included curriculums on focused areas presented over a three-day period. Most residential and commercial contractors attended a “construction” track (six sessions) that provided tips and lessons learned for beginners as well as information on integrating project teams and managing waste on new construction or major renovation projects seeking LEED certification. Other tracks focused on various phases of a LEED project — like architecture and design, engineering, operations, etc. — and newsworthy environmental issues such as climate change.
At the conference, USGBC announced its commitment to more closely align the council’s activities with climate initiatives and proposed eight climate actions. These proposals mainly focus on using the LEED products — LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation (-NC), LEED for Existing Buildings (-EB), LEED for Core and Shell Development (-CS), etc. — to increase overall energy efficiency of a project, thereby reducing carbon emissions. To further reduce carbon emissions, the council also proposed to increase the energy reduction prerequisites in LEED. Another proposal would require all new commercial projects seeking LEED certification to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent over current emissions levels — set to begin in 2007.
- USGBC outlined other proposed initiatives to facilitate reductions in carbon emissions, including the following — Automatic enrollment of newly LEED-certified projects (LEED-NC and LEED-CS) in LEED-EB, which focuses on the environmental performance of buildings;
- Focus on the use environmental management systems as an effective tool that building operators can use with LEED-EB to continually improve a building’s environmental performance;
- Full rebate of certification fees for projects that achieve LEED certification at the Platinum level; and
- Development of a new educational program, set to launch in early 2007, on energy efficient design and construction practices.
It was also announced at the 2006 Greenbuild conference that USGB has earned acceptance by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developer. The council submitted the application to ANSI in 2005 and now joins the ranks of other ANSI-accredited standards developers.
Click here for a flyer with AGC’s policy statement and online resources on green construction as well as an updated “quick facts” sheet on LEED-NC. Also included on the “quick facts” sheet is an update on the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes™ green building self assessment tool.
To learn more about USGBC or its LEED products, go to the council’s Web site at http://www.usgbc.org. In addition, AGC has posted on its Web site articles and AGC member case studies on LEED, go to http://www.constructionenvironment.org and click on “Green Construction.”
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