The Biden Administration, perhaps more than any previous administration, recognizes the enormous role that buildings play in our lives and environment. USGBC collaborated with the White House and Department of Energy in this effort and worked with the Biden Administration during Greenbuild to announce plans to create a new national definition of a zero-emissions building.

This is the future of buildings, and the definition will be an important tool for establishing a common understanding of what it really means to be a zero-operating-emissions building. As financial institutions, investors and insurers grapple with climate risks, USGBC sees the baseline established by this definition as key to evolving market expectations.

USGBC is currently developing the next phase of its LEED rating system – LEED v5 – and is committed to aligning the new rating systems by including specific LEED certifications designed to certify projects to the national definition. As markets increasingly demand greater sustainability, USGBC hopes and expects that it will be a popular approach for future LEED projects.

LEED, which launched the green building revolution 30 years ago, will continue to be the holistic platform that recognizes not just energy-related performance established under this definition, but also other attributes, like materials, water efficiency, waste management, land use, transportation and indoor air quality – all of which are critically important to social equity, human health and community well-being.