USGBC Offers Free LEED Certification

WASHINGTON — On June 5, the USGBC announced its latest campaign called LEED Earth, which offers free LEED certification to the first projects to certify in 112 countries where LEED has yet to be pursued.

The campaign is an effort to bring the LEED program to different international markets, encouraging green building across the globe. All buildings types can participate in reference to the LEED rating systems such as new construction, commercial interiors, existing buildings, core and shell structures, new homes and neighborhood developments.

The promotion is available for the next three years, expiring on June 5, 2016, and certification must be earned during that time. It will give the first certified project in authorized countries a refund of standard certification review fees paid to the Green Building Certification Institute up to $30,000.

“LEED is a global language and can become a catalyst for incremental change toward a sustainable future. USGBC is committed to bringing LEED to every country in the world while continuing to foster innovation and achievement in existing global markets,” said Rick Fedrizzi, the USGBC’s president, CEO and founding chair, in a statement. “Buildings are the single greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions of any sector, and the least costly way to alleviate the environmental stresses of our changing planet. LEED is the tool to get the job done.”

There are currently LEED projects in 140 countries and territories, with 1.5 million square feet of construction space earning LEED certification each day. USGBC members are voting this month on LEED v4, the next version of the certification, which is set to launch at the end of 2013.

While the campaign will help encourage LEED certification, many countries eligible are third world countries that do not have the resources to build to LEED standards. An incentive like this will help get the program started in these countries, but it will take time to see whether or not it will help green building gain traction.

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