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Olympic Village earns LEED certification

This year’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Games include a first-of-its kind environmentally friendly Olympic Village, certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development program.

The 17,000 athletes at the Olympics use the village as their temporary home during the games. Under the USGBC’s program, the village was awarded a LEED-Gold certification.

The project is part of a pilot program and is one of eight developments - as well as the first international project - to achieve certification under LEED for Neighborhood Development. Nearly 240 projects from 39 states and six countries are now registered to participate in the pilot program, according to the USGBC.

“The information learned during the pilot program will be used to make further revisions to the rating system and certification process, and the resulting draft rating system will be posted for public comment before it is submitted for final approvals and balloting,” the council said in a statement.

The Neighborhood Development program calls on builders and suppliers to develop “green” plans across four categories: Smart Location and Linkage; Neighborhood Pattern and Design; Green Construction and Technology; and Innovation and Design Process.

The council also noted the partnership between the United States and China began in 2004, when the U.S. Department of Energy and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology developed a “Protocol for Cooperation in Clean Energy Technologies for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.”

“China’s growing population, its emerging economy and the opportunities and challenges it represents ensure that China will play a key role in the future of our planet,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the USGBC.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization, founded in 1993, with the goal of “a sustainable built environment within a generation.”

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