Urban Green

Support New York City's leading advocate for urban sustainability.


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Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: I am working on a green building project. Can you recommend a consultant, contractor, architect, etc. who specializes in sustainable practices? 

A: If you are looking for a LEED accredited professional, you can search the national database of LEED APs or check out our Sponsors for potential leads, but Urban Green Council does not recommend companies or individual services. 

Q: How can I get involved with Urban Green Council? 

A: The most immediate way that you can get involved is to join as a memberattend one of our many popular events, or sign-up for our weekly newsletter. If you are interested in networking with like-minded individuals, attend our quarterly Membership Receptions, which occur each season. Volunteering, corporate sponsorship and seasonal internships are also great ways to support and connect with us

Q: How is Urban Green Council different from the National USGBC? 

A: Urban Green Council is the New York Chapter of the National USGBC and promotes sustainability through advocacy, education, collaboration and research in the New York City Region. Urban Green holds courses that may be used in the LEED accredidation process, but does NOT manage or administer LEED Certification for Buildings or LEED Credentialing. The National U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is responsible for certifying sustainable buildings and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is responsible for LEED Credentialing. National USGBC promotes green building practices and focuses on managing the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™. Contact National USGBC through their website at www.usgbc.org or at 1-800-795-1747 (outside the US, 202-742-3792) or GBCI at 1-800-795-1746 (outside the US, 202-828-1145). 

Q: What are some of of Urban Green Council's major initiatives? 

A: In addition to our monthly educational events like Salons and Technical Roundtables, Urban Green Council's major initiatives include GPRO: Green Construction Skills Certificate Program, which brings sustainability practices and education to the individuals who build, renovate, and maintain buildings, and the Building Resiliency Task Force, which will release policy recommendations for making our buildings more resilient in the face of future storms early this summer.  Additionally, we continue to work with the city and industry to enact the Green Codes Task Force proposals  released in February 2010, 40 of which have already been enacted

Q: What is a LEED Accredited Professional™, and how do I become one? 

A: LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) are building industry professionals who have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building and the LEED Green Building Rating System™. To become a LEED AP, you must meet certain criteria and take the examination. The exam will test your understanding of green building practices and principles, and your familiarity with LEED requirements, resources, and processes. Learn more about the LEED Credentialing system or visit Urban Green's FAQs for LEED Professionals for all credentialing questions. 

Q: How does the LEED Building Rating System work and what are its benefits? 

A: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction, and operations. Under the point-based system, projects must satisfy certain prerequisites and earn LEED points that meet specific green building criteria in six categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design (projects can earn points for green building innovations). As a third-party validation of a building’s performance, LEED serves as a catalyst for market transformation by providing guidelines and a performance-based certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry. LEED certified projects blend environmental, economic, and occupant-oriented performance; cost less to operate and maintain; are energy- and water-efficient; have higher lease-up rates than conventional buildings in their markets; are healthier and safer for occupants; and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them. For more information, visit the USGBC Website

Q: How many LEED certified/registered projects are there in New York City? 

A: According to GBCI, almost 90 LEED certified projects have been completed and over 400 ongoing LEED projects have been registered in New York City as of April 2010. 

Q: Are there any tax incentives or government initiatives for LEED certified buildings? 

A. To learn about governmental incentives for building green, visit the national USGBC Website’s Government Resources page.