A national nonprofit organization, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed in 1993 by a coalition of leaders representing a full spectrum
A national nonprofit organization, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed in 1993 by a coalition of leaders representing a full spectrum of the building industry to promote environmentally responsible construction of healthy, profitable buildings. Its quickly growing membership includes architecture and engineering firms; builders; manufacturers; service contractors; federal, state, and local government entities; real estate developers and owners; financial institutions; universities; retail companies; nonprofit, allied associations; and, utilities.
Serving its members and the community through the development of industry standards, design practices and tools, policy advocacy, information exchange, and education, USGBC was responsible for the creation of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. It now administers the LEED program, addressing concerns related to energy and natural resource consumption, as well as toxic material emissions affecting indoor environmental quality, by defining a threshold for green buildings and providing a tool to guide integrated, sustainable, high-performance building design.
Based on accepted energy and environmental principles, LEED attempts to strike a balance between known effective practices and emerging concepts. It is performance-based where possible in its application to commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential new construction and major renovation projects. LEED 3.0 product development includes existing buildings, multiple buildings, core and shell, interiors, and residential construction.