Chemical Makers Ally with LEED Group


The American Chemistry Council has announced a new partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, to bring "technical and science-based approaches" to the LEED program.

The chemical makers have been longtime supporters of LEED rival Green Globes, the certification program of the Green Building Initiative. But that history was not mentioned in Wednesday's (Aug. 27) announcement.

“USGBC and ACC share the goal of advancing sustainability in the built environment, and we will work together to take advantage of our collective strength and experience,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, CEO and founding chair.

“The looming impacts of climate change and the possibilities of improving human health and well-being favor collaboration and engagement as key strategies. The goal is forward progress.”

'Scientific Know-How'

The partnership "acknowledges USGBC’s success in leading the transformation of the built environment and sets up a pathway to take advantage of the materials science expertise of ACC and its members," the announcement said.

“By combining USGBC, a leader of the green building movement, with the scientific know-how of ACC, we can develop a path to stronger, science-based standards that achieve measurable progress in sustainability,” said ACC president and CEO Cal Dooley.

Clinton Library
The Clinton Foundation via GBI

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR, holds Green Globes certification. Green Globes bills  itself as an affordable, user-friendly alternative to LEED.

The American Chemistry Council has been a longtime supporter of GBI's Green Globes program, which bills its programs as "flexible, affordable alternatives to LEED." GBI's supporters include a variety of manufacturing associations.

LEED was the first green building certification, established in 1998. Frustration with its dominance and cost sparked the emergence of rival programs, including Green Globes.

flexible, affordable alternatives to LEED.

Arch Daily cited a Drexel University study earlier this year that called the Green Globes certification process "significantly less expensive to conduct and faster to complete than LEED certification.”

The New Relationship

Under the new partnership, USGBC and ACC say they will combine resources to work within the framework of LEED.

LEED v4 rolled out in November 2013, replacing LEED 2009 after several years of controversy during its development.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Pittsburgh

USGBC and ACC say they will work together to improve the LEED certification process. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh is the world's only LEED Platinum-certified greenhouse. 

The two organizations will now work within that framework to include “state-of-the-art safety, sustainability and life-cycle based approaches to LEED.”

Green Chemistry

Offering its green credentials, the chemical council reports that "chemistry-based plastic building and construction materials saved 467.2 trillion BTUs of energy over alternative construction materials"enough "to meet the average annual energy needs of 4.6 million U.S. households."

Innovations by the chemistry industry also prevented nearly 283 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2010the equivalent of greenhouse gas emission of 50 million passenger vehicles, the council said. 


Tagged categories: American Chemistry Council; Building Envelope; Certifications and standards; Green building; Green Building Initiative; Green Globes; LEED; U.S. Green Building Council

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