The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced revisions to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings certification.

With the new name of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, revisions include a green cleaning prerequisite and a new credit for companies willing to conduct a custodial audit.

Under the new requirements, buildings looking to attain LEED certification must practice green cleaning before being evaluated for LEED.

The other significant change in certification is the Custodial Effectiveness Assessment credit. The audit is worth up to two points and rewards facilities that have outstanding cleaning programs, creating an incentive for others to improve.

The policy revisions magnify the importance LEED is placing on green cleaning, according to Ashley Katz, communications coordinator for the USGBC.

“Green cleaning is meant to reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to hazardous chemicals and contaminants which can be harmful to human health and the environment.”

Building service contractors have viewed the changes as a positive way to incorporate green cleaning practices into the cleaning process.

“Overall the changes are a good thing,” says Mark DeVine of Guaranteed Clean Maintenance Inc., St. Paul, Minn. “I see it as a positive in our industry. It forces us to take a closer look at our procedures in green cleaning.”

The revisions make it possible for BSCs to serve as consultants for customers interested in adhering to green cleaning practices, according to DeVine.

“The changes give our customers a view of our professionalism and that we can work together with them to establish the green cleaning policies,” says DeVine.


Host Racine Industries Inc., Racine, Wis., is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its HOST School.
The training and certification program was started with the goal of providing industry professionals with the knowledge they need to properly use HOST Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning Systems along with a comprehensive overview of carpet cleaning and maintenance.

The company has held more than 1,490 classes and the school has been held in 43 states and 37 countries.

Gali Services Industries (GSI), Bethesda, Md., became the first building service contractor to become certified by PenguinCare, a consulting and training firm specializing in helping building owners, operators and service providers achieve and maintain healthier buildings through applied science.

GSI completed a six-month and six-module program of instruction revolving around developing and deploying integrated building health and green maintenance strategies. GSI’s completion of the program enabled them to achieve site-specific compliance with Green Seal’s GS-42 Cleaning Services Standard, OSHA requirements and other major public health, safety and indoor-environmental-excellence benchmarks.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has been established with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to administer credentialing programs related to green building practice and standards.

The GBCI will ensure that the LEED Accredited Professional (AP) program will continue to be developed in accordance with practices for credentialing programs.

LEED APs will not have to do anything and their credential will not be affected by this change. Candidates for LEED professional accreditation will be able to access information and resources on the GBCI Web site. GBCI staff and volunteers will handle all activities related to the development and delivery of the LEED AP program.

The Carpet and Rug Institute partnered with NSF International, an accredited American National Standards developed (ANSI) to publish the NFS/ANSI 140-2007, “Sustainable Carpet Assessment,” a certification system for sustainable carpeting. The goal of the publication is to encourage the use of sustainable materials and reduce the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing of floor coverings.

Green Policy Letter Proposed

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is proposing issuance on green procurement policies and strategies.

The policy letter proposes that the government give preferential treatment to green cleaning products and services.

It requires agencies to consider mandatory and preferred sources through which they obtain green cleaning products and services that meet their performance needs.

There is also a requirement that agencies must have preferences for the use of green products in all new service contracts and other existing contracts as they are bidding for contracts and encourages agencies to incorporate these requirements and preferences into existing contracts as they are modified or extended through options.

According to Bill Balek, director of Legislative Affairs for ISSA, the policy confirms a trend in commitment to green cleaning services.

“We see it on a state and local level, but this is a commitment on a federal level for green cleaning products. It gives more specificity to the order.”