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Getting Easier to be Green?

Written by SuperUser2.

A new educational program designed to ease the transition for commercial real estate contractors and subcontractors segueing into more sustainable construction practices launched yesterday (Aug. 18th), according to the trade association behind it.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) have unveiled its green construction program, Building to LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification program) for New Construction, Second Edition. The program seeks to help contracts, designers and developers have greater success in sustainability driven construction endeavors, especially ones such for which aforementioned players plan for "green" third-party certification.

"Green building is rapidly changing from a niche market to the industry norm," said AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr. "Within a short time, the ability to master the complexities of green construction and certification will be essentially to succeeding as a building contractor." Sandherr noted that the number of in-progress green construction projects will surge by at least 25% in the next three years.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which administers the LEED program, has started an active recruitment drive asking those who have built LEED-certified commercial structures in recent years and those embarking such ventures in the near future to help it cull information. USGBC is hoping the feedback, both from respective commercial and residential builders/developers, will help it develop future, better versions of the LEED program.

"By providing a large and accurate data set critical to supporting the ongoing improvement of LEED and continuous optimization of LEED-certified projects, BPP [the Building Performance Partnership program] will ensure LEED projects deliver on their extraordinary environmental and economic potential," said LEED VP Scot Horst. He added that a "disconnect" often exists between the design and best intentions of a so-called green project and the actual performance of such a building. "BPP will help projects meet operational sustainability goals sought originally during the design of the construction process. The data will shed light on external issues such as occupant behavior or unanticipated building-usage patterns.

Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer

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