The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today, on the main stage at its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, a $3 million grant from Google that will catalyze the transformation of the building materials industry and accelerate the creation of healthier indoor environments.
“Healthy, non-toxic building materials are a critical component in green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “Fostering awareness of the materials we put into our buildings is of paramount importance, since many materials can link to a host of environmental and health issues. Working with Google enables us to broaden our efforts in the materials industry as we prepare for the next version of the LEED green building program, LEED v4. This updated rating system will paint a more complete picture of materials and products, enabling project teams to make more informed decisions.”
“The idea for this project emerged from our own work at Google, where we’re committed to creating the healthiest work environments possible that help employees perform at their best,” said Anthony Ravitz, Google’s Green Team Lead. “USGBC has a deep background in spearheading research, developing a rating system spanning the globe and engaging with the many stakeholders in the building industry, making them the perfect partner to help spur real change on the healthy materials front.”
The grant will focus on three areas that will spur the creation of healthier indoor environments and encourage market transformation in the building materials industry: supporting research on building materials and health, developing new transparency tools and engaging stakeholders from across the industry.
“Improving the indoor environment, increasing materials transparency and advancing the understanding of materials’ impact on health are critical targets for the LEED program as it continues to evolve,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, USGBC. “Ultimately, we are looking to create overall benefit for the environment and for human health.”
The new initiatives will be developed over the next two years.
About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and follow us on Twitter @USGBC , and Facebook atfacebook.com/USGBC.
As the most widely recognized and widely used green building program across the globe, LEED is transforming buildings, homes and communities in all 50 states and 135 countries. LEED guides the design, construction, operations and maintenance of nearly 50,000 projects worldwide, comprising 9.3 billion square feet of commercial and institutional construction space, and nearly 117,000 additional residential units. By using less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. Learn more at usgbc.org/leed.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild is the four-time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings Award and the 2012 show will be held on Nov. 14-16, in San Francisco, Calif. Last year’s conference in Toronto, Ontario, drew more than 23,000 attendees and featured a sold out exhibit hall floor with more than 1,700 exhibit booths. For more information, visit greenbuildexpo.org and follow us on Twitter @Greenbuild, and Facebook at facebook.com/Greenbuild.