The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released two new Safety First pilot credits as part of the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system. The new credits are designed to help local governments and development authorities better prepare for and respond to future pandemic events. The guidance includes strategies for planning, risk assessment and training, as well as evaluating equity implications and impacts to vulnerable communities. Between the increasing risks associated with climate change and the current public health crisis, the new LEED credits provide additional ways to integrate public health and social equity into sustainability and resilience efforts.
The Safety First pilot credits are part of USGBC’s economic recovery strategy introduced in May that centers around a reimagined vision that healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy. The new LEED credits, called Safety First: Pandemic Planning and Safety First: Social Equity in Pandemic Planning, are available to LEED for Cities and Communities projects.
“The key to a better future lies in our ability to create places that support human and environmental health,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “LEED-certified cities and communities are already moving in that direction and they understand that effective planning is critical to tracking performance and making improvements. The current pandemic is revealing new lessons every day and LEED’s Safety First pilot credits provide a roadmap for taking action and bringing a more integrated and inclusive approach to rebuilding a healthier economy.”
These and other new LEED credits will be discussed during USGBC’s Healthy Economy Forum Aug. 4-5. The forum will address a wide range of building sectors and examine how green building plays a role in ensuring people feel safe and healthy returning to buildings and spaces. The presentations and discussions will identify changes that may be needed in the short term and those that may be permanent while helping to rebuild the economy and replace unprecedented job losses. Registration for the virtual forum is currently open.
Source: U.S. Green Building Council