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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED — the top third-party verification system for sustainable structures around the world.

Every day USGBC is helping advance spaces that are better for the environment and healthier for us to live, work and play in. Through our community network, continuous collaboration with industry experts, market research publications and LEED professional credentials, USGBC remains a key driving force in the green building sector.

Our History

More than 20 years ago, USGBC was established to help advance better buildings in our everyday lives.

Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried and Mike Italiano established USGBC in 1993 with a mission to promote sustainability-focused practices in the building and construction industry. Representatives from around 60 firms and several nonprofits gathered that April in the American Institute of Architects’ boardroom for the council’s founding meeting.

It was then that ideas were shared for an open and balanced coalition spanning the entire building industry and for a green building rating system, which would later become LEED. Since the rating system’s unveiling in 2000, it has become an international standard for environmentally sound buildings, certifying hundreds of thousands of square feet per day.

About LEED

No matter where a LEED project is, its certification is an achievement in green building that’s recognized around the world.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program for buildings and communities that guides their design, construction, operations and maintenance toward sustainability. It’s based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Our staff strives to ensure LEED stays innovative, technically rigorous and market relevant. LEED regularly undergoes evaluations and other improvements, whether through clarification of specific credit’s language, an adaptation to an existing rating system, or a comprehensive update to an entire suite of rating systems.

USGBC also has developed alternative compliance paths to LEED credits, providing more options to address unique circumstances and accommodate advancements in science and technology.