News Brief

A Net-Zero Certification from USGBC

Buildings must be LEED certified and can choose among net-zero energy, water, waste, or carbon.

NASA net-zero building

Net-zero-energy buildings like this LEED Platinum NASA facility could be eligible for the new certification.

Photo: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.. License: Public domain.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new certification called LEED Zero that rewards net-zero carbon, energy, water, or waste.

To achieve the designation, buildings must first be certified under either LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) or LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM). Owners will provide a year’s worth of performance data to verify their net-zero status.

Details of the scoring methodology are still being worked out, said Melissa Baker, senior vice president for technical core at USGBC. For example, it’s not yet clear whether or how off-site renewable energy will be permitted in the net-zero energy certification. However, Baker did confirm that emissions from transportation would be included in the net-zero carbon certification.

Data will be reported through the new Arc platform, according to Baker. This is the same platform that’s behind the Dynamic Plaque, which displays scores in a number of categories based on actual building performance. It’s also the platform being used to track projects for LEED EBOM v4.1, currently in a pilot phase.

“We’re very excited to have another way to recognize leaders within the market,” Baker remarked. More information will be released at Greenbuild 2018 in Chicago, she said.

More on net-zero energy and carbon

New Zero Energy Certification Powered by ILFI and NBI

Why Schools Are Embracing Net-Zero Energy

Urgent: Zero-Carbon Buildings Needed

First Standards for Carbon Neutral Buildings Launched in Canada

For more information:

U.S. Green Building Council

Published November 5, 2018

Melton, P. (2018, November 5). A Net-Zero Certification from USGBC. Retrieved from

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November 5, 2018 - 11:16 pm

Now that the IPCC Special Report and the "Hothouse Earth" research have been released, we have less than 12 years to prevent the climate going into and unstoppable spiral of warming to temperatures where water resources will be much more scarce, crops will fail, food will become scarce the millions of climate refugees will become billions, destabilising our civilisations in conflict.  Since buildings last for 100 years on average, net-zero carbon emissions is not now "Leadership", it should now be a prerequisite - all else implies complacency to mass genocide, unless you are  Trump supporter who doesn't believe in science - in which case you can try to believe your kids/grandkids out of harms way.  Nigel Howard former Director of Centre for Sustainable Construction UK developing BREEAM and EcoHomes and former Vice President of USGBC responsible for LEED V2.