New Net-Zero Certification Available Under LEED

Originally published by: USGBCNovember 5, 2018

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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new certification that rewards net-zero carbon, energy, water, or waste. Following are excerpts from that announcement:

LEED has helped to shift our collective mindset about the “who” and the “why” behind sustainability. Businesses, activists, real estate developers and government officials are all coming around to the idea that green buildings aren’t just good for the planet. They’re good for the bottom lines of the people who own them—and the health and well-being of the people who occupy them.

At the end of the day that’s what the green building movement is all about—people.

By 2050, the total global floor area of all buildings is expected to double to more than 400 billion square meters. And each new building will last for multiple generations—maybe even hundreds of years. That means the choices we make today are locked in for the foreseeable future. So we have to make the right decisions.

And today, at the Net Zero for All conference, I witnessed leaders from all green building sectors pushing the boundaries of what it means to be net zero.

And now, that means setting our sights at zero. Net zero is a powerful target that will move the entire industry forward.

For years, LEED projects around the world have aspired to net zero energy, net zero water and net zero waste milestones. It’s time we recognize the leadership of projects—and formalize the commitment to net zero across the entire LEED community. That’s why today, we’re announcing a new Net Zero certification program that gives the green building community a new standard to strive for.

USGBC’s new net zero certifications will help reinforce these visionary leaders, while improving accountability and transparency. LEED projects can achieve Net Zero certification when they demonstrate any or one of the following: net zero carbon emissions, net zero energy use, net zero water use or net zero waste. In order to achieve any of these net zero certifications, projects must be LEED-certified and must provide 12 months of performance data across any or all of these categories.

We believe these new certification programs will encourage a holistic approach for buildings and places to contribute to a regenerative future and enhance the health and well-being for not only building occupants, but all of humanity.