With the aim of broadening the reach of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and accelerating the growth of sustainable development in new markets, the US Green Building Council will offer free LEED certification to the first projects to certify in 112 countries abroad.
The LEED Earth initiative will promote the introduction of better performing buildings in countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
All building types can participate across the suite of LEED rating systems, including new construction, commercial interiors, existing buildings, core and shell structures, new homes and neighborhood developments.
The USGBC says LEED can spur sustainable development in the countries where it has not yet taken root. The council aims to introduce the certification program in every country since buildings represent the least costly, effective way to contain greenhouse gas emissions, the organization says.
There are LEED certified projects in 140 countries and territories and 1.5 million square feet of construction space earn the certification each day, which the USGBC says is the equivalent of nearly four Empire State Buildings each week.
LEED version 4, the next iteration of the green building rating system, will go to a USGBC member vote this June and is set to launch at the end of 2013. The newest version of LEED will have a strong emphasis on building performance, the council says.
In Canada, Green Globes is gunning for LEED, aiming to tackle the common perception that green building certification equals LEED.
The online assessment and rating tool has undergone several transformations in its lifetime, starting as the BREEAM Canada for Existing Buildings standard and moving to something similar to its current form in 2000. Green Globes now offers assessment tools for new buildings, existing buildings, building intelligence, fit-up and building emergency management.