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Green Building Council Launches Net Zero Certification Program

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At the Global Climate Action Summit this past September, leading cities and corporations ramped up their commitments to climate action. There, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a new, aspirational LEED net zero certification program. By 2050, the total global floor area of all buildings is expected to double to more than 4,300 billion square feet. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) family of green building rating systems has always pushed for market transformation. The new LEED Zero certification is open to all LEED projects certified under the BD+C, ID+C or O+M rating systems or projects registered to pursue LEED O+M certification. LEED projects can achieve LEED Zero certification when they demonstrate any or one of the following:

• Net Zero Carbon Emissions Certification: Projects must achieve a carbon balance of zero. This will be calculated based on emissions produced from energy used plus emissions produced from transportation minus any offsets recognized by the LEED v4 EA category (both BD+C and O+M).

• Net Zero Energy Use Certification: Projects must achieve a source energy use balance of zero. This will be calculated by energy generated on site plus any offsets recognized by the LEED v4 EA category (both BD+C and O+M) minus source energy consumed.

• Net Zero Water Use Certification: Projects must achieve a potable water use balance of zero. This will be calculated by water reused on site plus any greywater from a municipality or an external site minus potable water consumed.

• Net Zero Waste Certification: Any projects achieving GBCI’s TRUE Zero Waste certification at the Platinum level will be awarded Net Zero Waste Certification.

Build With Strength, a coalition led of NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy, can help leverage sustainable standards such as LEED-Zero to help place more concrete. For more information please contact Tien Peng at or 206-913-8535 or James Bogdan at or 412-420-4138.


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