USGBC: The Next Generation

USGBC: The Next Generation

The past decade has provided the U.S. Green Building Council with many opportunities for growth and change as an organization. This month, Rick Fedrizzi -- president, CEO, and founding chair of USGBC -- shared with Council members his vision for the future. (Reprinted with kind permission from the USGBC monthly membership newsletter.)

We are embarking upon a new era at USGBC. After a decade of outstanding growth, we have realized that it is time for us to reassess, recommit, and take action to move the Council to the next level. Guided by our core values, we are undertaking many initiatives to strengthen the Council and respond to the needs of our members and the public, so that we can continue driving the green building movement forward.

One of the most significant changes we have made is to expand USGBC's membership to include trade and professional associations. The strength of the Council is its members, and welcoming all those who want to be a part of our community opens up new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. This change in membership policy also underscores our deep commitment to openness, balance and transparency. This commitment is also evident in our robust, consensus-based processes for developing LEED Rating Systems.

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve and refine LEED, USGBC has also has filed an application with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to become an ANSI accredited national standards developer for standards related to green building practices.

ANSI accreditation is just one of the steps we are taking to improve LEED. At our most recent Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved a "LEED Refinement Plan" that will streamline the documentation and certification process, driving down soft costs and making it more user-friendly and responsive to project teams' diverse needs. These changes will be integrated into LEED Version 2.2, scheduled for release this fall.

We're also kicking off the development of LEED Version 3, which will take into account Life Cycle Analysis, bioregional credit weightings, transport implications, speciated emissions criteria for indoor environmental quality, and will broaden the applicability of all LEED rating systems.

The Council is making organizational changes as well, in order to realize the goals of our Strategic Plan and achieve our mission of market transformation. We're strengthening our partnership with our local Chapters, which serve as the "front door" to the Council and are the major regional drivers of market transformation. We've also realigned our internal structure to better focus on our strategic goals of Advocacy, LEED, USGBC as Community, Education, Research, and Organization Excellence.

In recognition of the vital role that education and research play in advancing green building, we have created a new department for Education and Research. This department will oversee a number of important new initiatives, such as the Educational Partners program and new online training courses, as well as the ongoing development of LEED Training Workshops and the Accredited Professionals Program.

We have arrived at a watershed moment for the Council; it is time for us to us to take our mission to the next level and chart a path to even greater success in the future. We look forward to working with you as we enter the Next Generation of the U.S. Green Building Council.

This letter has been reprinted courtesy of the USGBC monthly membership newsletter. It first appeared in the August 2005 issue of that publication.