Report on green building strategies released by USGBC and USAID

Taryn Holowka
September 17, 2020

On Sept. 17, USGBC and GBCI India participated in an industry roundtable and launched a new industry report, "Building Green: Approach and Insights for Market Transformation." This report was carried out as part of the USAID MAITREE program, in partnership with USGBC.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) led Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE), a four-year bilateral program with the Ministry of Power. MAITREE aims at uptake of cutting-edge technology, innovative business models and end-user engagement, to accelerate adoption of energy efficiency strategies and technologies at scale. MAITREE works with a range of public sector, private sector and international partners.

USGBC and USAID collaborate to promote widespread adoption of sustainability and energy efficiency strategies in buildings and spaces. We are working to leverage our partnership to expand markets and green building uptake in India and South Asia.

In our Sept. 17 presentation, USGBC discussed the green building industry, its global impact and LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating system. LEED is being used all over the world to help not only save money, but also to promote sustainability and health.

Doing well by doing good is something that’s very important to USGBC—and this adage is even more critical today during the COVID-19 pandemic. For USGBC and our members, that goal has been at the heart of our work. The new reality of today, though, brings a need to build upon that work. That is why we have launched a new vision centered around the idea that healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy.

As part of this new vision and to help us deal with the realities of today, USGBC has adapted LEED and launched the LEED Safety First pilot credits to help buildings during and post-pandemic. The new credits outline sustainable best practices that align with public health and industry guidelines related to cleaning and disinfecting, workplace reoccupancy, HVAC and plumbing operations. The credits can be used by LEED projects that are certified or are undergoing certification.

USGCB has also released Arc Re-Entry, which is designed to be used by any building—including both LEED-certified and others—to prepare a space for reentry and use during COVID-19. Arc Re-Entry is free and provides tools to benchmark infection-control policies and procedures, collect occupant experiences, and track indoor air quality.

The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for many years, but what lies ahead is also a responsibility for us to design a healthier, more sustainable and resilient future. That is why, going forward, we will prioritize our efforts to build people’s trust that their spaces are healthy and have a positive impact—not only on them and the environment, but on the economy at large.

View the report