New US building standard will rival LEED

For years there has been one standard against which green buildings are benchmarked in the US - but now there's a new kid on the block.

The US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has long been the recognised standard for rating a building's environmental credentials but now the American National Standards Institute - the country's version of BSI - has approved another version.

The National Green Building Standard, drawn up by the National Association of Home Builders, will cover all residential construction work, from new build to renovation.

Whether competition will help the market or simply confuse it remains to be seen, but the association believes its new standard will be welcomed by those working at the forefront of the construction industry.

"Consumers are looking for authentic, verifiable green building practices, and now they'll find them with a true industry consensus standard for residential green building," said Mike Luzier, chief executive of the National Association of Home Builders' research centre.

While LEED is perhaps the closest thing to a global standard, there have been previous attempts to topple its monopoly and criticism that its focus on the US markets make it less useful elsewhere.

Last year, for example, private company Green Horizons set up a standard that aimed to provide a benchmark to compare the environmental benefits of projects wherever they are in the world.

Sam Bond



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