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Published June 30, 2008 07:53 AM

Green Cleaning Required in LEED for Existing Buildings

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) first released LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB) in November 2007. The reference guide for the system is due out in June 2008, and, as of July 1, all projects seeking certification must register under the new version.

Among the many changes are the addition of a green cleaning prerequisite and two points in a green cleaning credit requiring verification of custodial effectiveness. According to David Holly of the Ashkin Group, a green cleaning consulting firm, the prerequisite is a sign that the importance of cleaning is gaining recognition.

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The new points, which are awarded for achieving a certain level of cleanliness, also represent a shift away from thinking about green cleaning as a set of products towards thinking about it as a set of best practices that include making a cleaning plan, using less-toxic chemicals, and using energy-efficient equipment.

To achieve the performance-based points, a building must meet standards set by APPA, which provides guidelines for educational facilities. The Ashkin Group is working with APPA and USGBC to adapt the guidelines to other types of facilities; the resulting guidance will appear in the LEED-EB reference guide.

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