Collaboration, cooperation and peace are in the air. If all goes well, the beneficiaries of two new initiatives intended to smooth the road to greener buildings will be the citizens of the U.S. In the first news, the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Chemistry Council have buried the hatchet. The groups, long at odds over plastics and LEED green building rating system credits, just announced an initiative that is expected "to ensure the use of sustainable and environmentally protective products in buildings by applying technical and science-based approaches to the LEED green building program."“USGBC and ACC share the goal of advancing sustainability in the built environment, and we will work together to take advantage of our collective strength and experience,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, in a statement. “The looming impacts of climate change and the possibilities of improving human health and wellbeing favor collaboration and engagement as key strategies. The goal is forward progress.”ACC's president and CEO Cal Dooley added, “Modern energy efficiency gains, building safety advances and carbon footprint reductions would not be possible without the products of chemistry. From windows to insulation, adhesives to flooring, chemistry provides solutions that enable the energy-efficient and sustainable buildings that consumers expect in today’s world. By combining USGBC, a leader of the green building movement, with the scientific know-how of ACC, we can develop a path to stronger, science-based standards that achieve measurable progress in sustainability.”LEED is regularly updated through a rigorous development process that includes public comments, technical review and balloting. USGBC and ACC will work within LEED's update framework to incorporate state-of-the-art safety, sustainability and life-cycle based approaches to LEED.In another "unprecedented" partnership, also involving the USGBC, the International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and USGBC have signed a memorandum to collaborate on the development of three green building model codes and standards—ASHRAE Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program.The goal is to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes and/or provide incentives for voluntary leadership programs such as LEED, says the AIA in a joint release on the endeavor. 

The agreement outlines the development, maintenance and implementation of new versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and the IgCC, which will be combined into one regulatory tool.This collaboration also endeavors to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.The model codes and standards alignment could eliminate a Tower of Babel among those trying to design and construct more-sustainable buildings.