Environmental Protection

USGBC Advocates Building Green Schools

A representative of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) testified before the U.S. Congress on May 15 about the importance of green buildings as a solution for global climate change.

Michelle Moore, senior vice president, Policy and Public Affairs, spoke before Chair Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and detailed the impact of the built environment on the natural environment, economy and health, and productivity of building users. Moore's testimony stressed the importance of green building practices not only in new construction but through smart retrofit of existing building stock, with a focus on schools, and the role that the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building certification program plays in driving the reduction of energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

"Buildings are the single largest contributor to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, accounting for 39 percent of emissions in the U.S. Of those buildings, school buildings represent the largest construction sector in the country and 20 percent of America goes to school every day," said Moore. "It's fundamental to promote the design and construction of green schools. Every new building coming out of the ground today should built green and every existing building should be retrofitted, whether it is an office building, a school or your own home. Buildings offer an immediate, measurable solution for mitigating climate change -- and we don't have time to wait. "

Moore joined actor Ed Norton and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the hearing. Norton is a trustee for the Enterprise Foundation, USGBC's partner to promote green affordable housing within the LEED for Homes Rating System.

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