USGBC Adds “Clean Construction” Pilot Credit to LEED Green Building Rating System

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 31, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — On Jan. 24, 2013, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that a Clean Construction Pilot Credit can be used toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This optional pilot credit rewards projects that take specific steps to reduce emissions from diesel engines during the construction phase of the project.

In late 2011, AGC learned that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a prominent equipment rental company and leading clean advocacy groups had recommended to USGBC that the Council add a mandatory clean diesel prerequisite for all LEED projects. AGC promptly reached out to the involved parties to express our objection to the potential prerequisite — mainly because it would amount to a “backdoor” mandate for clean diesel, which is in conflict with the Clean Air Act. As further support for the proposition that voluntary retrofit measures are the best fit for construction, AGC pointed to the potential safety concerns with a one-size-fits all retrofit approach as well as the high possibility that EPA’s data on the population of off-road construction diesels and associated emissions is exaggerated. As a result of those discussions, the groups chose to abandon the mandatory prerequisite proposal and instead pursued an optional credit proposal, which USGBC then introduced as a pilot credit.

According to the USGBC, the Clean Construction Pilot Credit (SSpc75) requires the project team to “develop and implement a plan to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions from nonroad and on-road diesel fueled vehicles, construction equipment, and temporary power generation used during construction projects.” The plan should include:

Pollution standards for on-road and nonroad equipment;
Idling limits;
Staging area requirements; and
Data gathering.

The LEED Pilot Credit Library is designed to test new and revised LEED credit language, alternative compliance paths, and new or innovative green building technologies and concepts. Pilot credits are not formally adopted into LEED until road-tested and balloted by USGBC members during rating system revisions. Project team can register to use the pilot credit and offer real-time feedback during the process to improve the credit before it is added to the rating system. Points earned by pilot credits are limited by the number of Innovation credits available.

The Clean Construction Pilot Credit was proposed by United Rental, Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and the EPA.

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at .

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Located in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. Operating in partnership with its nationwide network of Chapters, AGC provides a full range of services satisfying the needs and concerns of its members, thereby improving the quality of construction and protecting the public interest.

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