The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that it has filed an application with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to become an ANSI accredited national standards developer for standards related to green building practices.

"Since its beginnings more than a decade ago, USGBC has used a consensus process to develop the LEED green building rating system," stated Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, CEO and founding chairman. "Becoming ANSI-accredited will underscore USGBC's commitment to its core values, which include openness, inclusiveness, and collaboration. It is also part of the continual improvement of USGBC."

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is USGBC's chief program for accelerating the adoption of green building practices. A voluntary, consensus-based rating system, LEED provides a basis for identifying buildings that represent leadership in the use of sustainable building practices and design, says the organization.

In tandem with its ANSI filing, USGBC also announced an amendment to its bylaws to expand USGBC's membership to include trade and professional associations.

"Opening our membership to professional and trade associations that represent different communities within our diverse industry will only strengthen our ability to lead the transformation of the built environment," said Fedrizzi. "It allows us to more fully engage our long-time partners in green building; it gives us greater access to the knowledge and experience of those who make the materials used in buildings; and it underscores our deep commitment to openness of new ideas, balance among interests, and transparency in assessment and decision-making."

Fedrizzi added, "Americans spend 90 percent of our time indoors. We should be doing all we can, as fast as we can, to make sure our interior environments are healthy places that enhance our own and our children's ability to work, heal, and learn. USGBC takes its leadership role in this effort seriously, and we feel these two initiatives will add to our momentum in moving the market forward." For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.