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US Green Building Council Announces $500K in Grants

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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The United States Green Building Council announced last week that it has launched a new $500,000 grant from Bank of America for its Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Cities and Communities grant program.

The funding supports the LEED certification of 15 U.S. cities and communities. The grant provides financial assistance, educational resources and technical support throughout the certification process.

“To realize a sustainable future for all, today’s cities and communities must strive to be green, resilient, inclusive and smart,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC.


The U.S. Green Building Council announced last week that it has launched a new $500,000 grant from Bank of America for its LEED for Cities and Communities grant program.

“The LEED for Cities and Communities certification programs give leaders a framework for planning, designing, measuring and managing the social, economic and environmental performance of the places where they live, work, learn and play. With support from Bank of America, we will empower these grant recipients to deliver a higher living standard for their residents.”

Cities and Communities Program

The USGBC and Bank of America announced the launch of the LEED for Cities and Communities grant program in 2018 with six U.S. cities.

The cities that are chosen for these grants are evaluated across 14 metrics, including: energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability. Each grant consists of financial assistance to aid the city in the pursuit of a “LEED for Cities” certification, along with educational resources and technical support.

LEED for Cities enables local governments to measure and track citywide performance by focusing on outcomes, rather than intent, according to the USGBC.

“A sustainable city not only focuses on the environmental footprint but also how it is working to provide a better quality of life for its residents,” said Ramanujam in 2018. “LEED has been a transformative tool for buildings, and we are taking what we learned and applying it to help cities achieve a higher level of performance.”

The initial grant recipients were Denver; Phoenix; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and San Jose, California.

LEED v4.1

Earlier this year, the USGBC released the newest version of its LEED program, LEED v4.1. The cities and communities that are benefitting from the 2019 grants are the first to pursue the new LEED certification.

The LEED v4.1 certification recognizes leadership by emphasizing not only integrated design, social equity and human health factors, it also looks at performance monitoring.

“LEED v4.1 makes LEED the first green performance standard for buildings, communities and cities,” said Ramanujam, after the launch.

“It is the most comprehensive, collaborative, accessible and effective LEED system to date. This newest release complements the full suite of LEED v4.1 rating systems that are available today. We are excited and optimistic for the future as we continuously work to ensure that LEED is not only the de facto leadership standard but also a living standard.”

For the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities rating systems, LEED v4.1 expands on the earlier performance-based approach to deliver a framework to support plan, design, operation and performance management phases of both new and existing cities and communities.

The rating systems align with all the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and incorporate practices from other systems, such as the previously integrated STAR Community Rating System, and the PEER, TRUE, EDGE and SITES programs.

And Now

The cities and communities that will beneft from the 2019 grants include:

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico;
  • Baltimore;
  • Birmingham, Alabama;
  • Bloomginton, Indiana;
  • Cincinnati;
  • Greensboro, North Carolina;
  • Las Vegas;
  • Miami;
  • Orange County, New York;
  • Orlando, Florida;
  • Pueblo County, Colorado;
  • Rancho Cucamonga, California;
  • Royal Oak, Michigan;
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico; and
  • Shaker Heights, Ohio.


Tagged categories: Associations; Awards and honors; Good Technical Practice; LEED; NA; North America; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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