THERE HAS BEEN some discussion lately about whether the sustainability movement has lost steam. When we asked this question on our website last year, 57 percent of you said it was losing momentum, 24 percent said it was gaining momentum, and 19 percent said it had hit a plateau.

I recently found some news that shows the 24 percent who said it was gaining momentum were right. The U.S. Green Building Council says that the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED green building program surpassed 2 billion square feet. There also is another 7 billion square feet in registered projects currently in the pipeline worldwide.

Registered projects in July alone included an office for Google in Mumbai, India; an office for Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer, in Lem, Denmark; and probably a school or office building near you.

Also closer to home, NRMCA recently announced it has become an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program operator. EPDs are third-party verified reports from product manufacturers that provide information regarding the environmental performance of their products. The association's members can use this information to meet requirements for LEED and other environmental certification programs.

Being environmentally responsible goes beyond displaying a plaque in a building's lobby. “Goodwill and recognition are part of it,” Cliff Bocchicchio, Titan America's environmental manager, says in our feature story on page 20. “It also helps awareness among the employees. When you start doing these types of things, people become proud of where they work and it really helps the business. It makes people feel more productive.”

It's hard to argue with that.

Keeping you Appy

The U.S. Green Building Council has launched its online App Lab as part of its LEED Automation Program. The lab is a searchable catalog of third-party apps that are integrated with LEED data. Users can use these tools to help with task management, data interchange, file uploads, credit scorecards, credit strategies, and team messaging. Each app is a fully functional software tool that has been enhanced to provide LEED project teams and administrators integration with LEED Online and address the LEED certification process.

“The potential leverage points are so numerous that we really cannot anticipate the full impact of the App Lab,” says Scot Horst, USGBC's senior vice president, LEED. “All we are sure of is that we have created a place to ignite the flames of true innovation and growth.” For more information or to use an app, visit http://usgbc.org/automation.


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