The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) seventh annual Federal Summit convened today at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. for a two-day exchange of ideas on how to best meet the goals of increased sustainability in existing buildings and communities in order to significantly impact the environment and economy. High level officials from throughout the federal sector, including Administrator Martha N. Johnson, U.S. General Services Administration, and Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discussed topics such as the current state of sustainability in the federal government and the progress federal agencies are making in improving their environmental, energy and economic performance.  Updates on the LEED green building certification program and other USGBC activities were also included in the program.

“Considerable progress has been made on the path to sustainability in all parts of the United States with stimulus funds supporting the improvement of government buildings at the federal, state and local levels. By working together to change the way we design, build and operate buildings, implement best practices and utilize green building programs, we can dramatically improve the performance of our public building stock.” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “The Federal Summit provides a unique opportunity to discuss critical issues and to highlight the leadership role of the federal government in mitigating climate change.”

The USGBC 2010 Federal Summit provides a forum for discussing global climate change and energy dependence, and for keeping government leaders abreast of emergent green building initiatives, tools and technologies. The event will also include a half-day Government Forum, which serves as an opportunity for government employees to connect with their peers and engage in informal conversations on a variety of topics, from challenges to best practices and tools.  

"Zero environmental footprint is this generation's moon shot. And so, it must be ours at GSA. A zero environmental footprint goal for GSA will galvanize the workforce and our partners such as USGBC and attract the best of the next generation's smart, idealistic and determined talent,” said Administrator Martha N. Johnson, U.S. General Services Administration. "We welcome USGBC as an invaluable partner and resource for this exploration and reinvention of our design, use and reuse cycles."

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

The 2010 Federal Green Building Leadership Award was presented to Bob Thompson, Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Environments Branch, during the opening plenary at the Federal Summit. During his tenure with the EPA, Thompson has developed EPA's Indoor Air Quality program for schools, worked with cross agency technical teams on the Greening of the White House and Greening of the Pentagon projects, chairs the development of EPA’s Green Building Research Plan and developed Schools Advanced Ventilation Engineering Software (SAVES), an extensive design and decision tool that focuses on energy and economics along with indoor air quality. 

The federal government, a longtime green building advocate, owns 221 LEED certified and 3,349 LEED registered projects, totaling over half a billion square feet. The GSA has also been active in the development of green leases to cover rental space used by federal employees in private sector buildings. 

Currently, 12 federal agencies use LEED, which is endorsed by the General Services Administration (GSA). For more information about the Federal Summit, visit http://www.usgbc.org/federalsummit.