Adobe, Google Among Founding Partners of USGB Building Health Initiative

Building Health founding partners

by | Oct 31, 2013

Building Health founding partnersAdobe, CalPERS, Genentech, Google, Kaiser Permanente,, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and 20 other corporations and institutions are founding partners in a new green building initiative.

The US Green Building Council-Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) launched the Building Health Initiative on Tuesday night at its annual Super Heroes Awards Gala.

The initiative — which aims to elevate green building as a public health benefit and accelerate the development of transparency standards in building materials — will facilitate sharing of best practices and collaboration among a coalition of commercial building owners and tenants; architects, engineers and builders; building product manufacturers; legal professionals; labor and healthcare professionals and institutions, USGB says.

Dan Geiger, executive director of USGBC-NCC, says this marks the first time major companies and institutions from multiple sectors have committed to improving human health through green building.

As part of phase one of the initiative, Adobe, Genentech, Google and have pledged to develop procurement practices and processes that consider materials transparency and emerging standards such as Health Product Declarations (HPDs). In addition, Adobe will study its LEED-certified workplaces to determine if they measurably contribute to more collaborative, creative, innovative and healthy employees.

Other partner pledges include creating resources for affordable housing, community outreach, researching the relationship between climate change and health, educating clients and peers about health impacts of the built environment and developing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Phase two of the initiative will be a series of educational programs and events held over the next two years, including best practice sharing and inter-disciplinary programs developed with the founding partners.

Founding partners include:

  • Visionary: California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Genentech
  • Gold: Adobe, Google, Hanson Bridgett, Kaiser Permanente, Webcor Builders, Wendel Rosen Black and Dean, XL Construction
  • Silver: Armstrong World Industries, ARUP, Central Concrete Supply (a business unit of US Concrete), HDR, HOK, Integral Group, Interface, National Electrical Contractors Association & the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, PE International, Perkins+Will,, Swinerton Builders, View Inc.
  • Nonprofit and Government: city of San Francisco, First Community Housing, Health Begins, Healthy Building Network, UCSF School of Medicine

The new initiative comes as USGBC prepares to officially launch LEED v4 next month the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia. In July, USGBC members voted to adopt the latest update to the green building rating system.

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