Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Chapter Membership and National Membership?

USGBC NJ is one of 76 local chapters of the national U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) organization. Each of the 76 local chapters and USGBC National are separate 501(c)3s and have their own memberships. Being a member of USGBC National does not mean you are also a member of USGBC NJ, and vice versa.

Individuals are members of Chapters.
Chapter membership allows any individual, regardless of whether or not their employer is a national member, to participate in the chapter and take advantage of local chapter benefits. It also allows individuals to get involved in their community and support local green building efforts.

Organizations are members of USGBC National.
USGBC National Membership is for corporations or organizations. All full-time employees of national member companies may utilize their company’s national member benefits and are encouraged to join their local USGBC chapters at a discounted price.

Many organizations also choose to partner with our Chapter and/or sponsor Chapter events to demonstrate their commitment to the local green building movement and gain visibility with our network of over 9,000 local green building professionals.

Is my company a member of USGBC National?

Check the USGBC National Member Directory.

If you don’t see your company, contact membership@usgbc.org or call 1-800-795-1747 to clarify – USGBC National Membership is handled separately from local chapter membership.

What educational events can I attend?

The Chapter and the Branches host many educational events including LEED workshops, seminars, study sessions, case studies, tours and documentaries. You can find a full listing of events by going to our calendar here.

How can I become involved with the Chapter?

There are many opportunities to become involved in Chapter activities. The Chapter is divided into three Branches to better serve our area. The North Branch, Central Branch and Southern Branch. Each Branch has active committees involving everything from hosting events and setting up workshops to assisting with other Branch and Chapter activities. Contact the Chair of the Branch nearest you to learn how you can become involved in this most fulfilling of volunteer activities.

What committees are there?

There are committees at both the Chapter and Branch levels. Related activities include membership, education, programs, financial, communications…and more!  Visit our committees page to learn more about USGBC-NJ committees.

What sponsorship opportunities are available?

The Chapter and the Branches have numerous tax-deductible sponsorship opportunities available for businesses and individuals, including seminar and workshop sponsorships, annual events and sustaining sponsorships. Visit our sponsorship page to learn more and help make a difference today.

What is LEED?

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification program, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance, increasing energy savings, water efficiency, and carbon emissions reduction, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts, and improving indoor environmental quality.

What is LEED v4?

LEED v4 is the newest version of the LEED green building program. Highlights include:

  • New market sectors: New market sector adaptations for LEED include data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, existing schools, existing retail and mid-rise residential projects.
  • Time-saving support tools and resources: Simplified LEED credit submittal requirements, descriptive step-by-step reference guide materials with videos and tutorials, and a more intuitive technology platform.
  • Building performance management: LEED v4 is focused on outcomes so that building owners have a better understanding of how to manage their buildings to meet full performance potential.
  • New impact categories: Climate change, human health, water resources, biodiversity, green economy, community and natural resources.

What is LEED for Homes?

LEED for Homes is a consensus-developed, third-party-verified rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. LEED for Homes measures a home’s performance based on eight categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental and quality, location and linkages, awareness and education, and innovation. Within each of these areas, projects earn points toward certification.

Why should I consider buying a LEED-certified home?

A home that achieves LEED certification has been designed to maximize fresh air indoors, minimizing exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants, and has the potential to use 20-30% less energy – and some up to 60% less – than a home built to the International Energy Code Council’s 2006 code. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month throughout the life of the house. Beyond energy, achieving LEED certification is a mark of leadership in green homebuilding, clearly differentiating a home as among the best in the country.

Who is responsible for rating a LEED-certified home?

Each LEED for Homes registered project is inspected by a LEED for Homes Green Rater under the guidance of a LEED for Homes Provider. Providers and Green Raters are local organizations and individuals with demonstrated experience with green building.

How do I register my building project for LEED Certification?

Certification is achieved through a documentation and submission process that is usually facilitated by a person who has passed the LEED Accreditation exam. It is a design and documentation process that starts before the building site is selected.

LEED certification typically involves four primary steps:

  • Register your project
  • Prepare your application
  • Submit your application
  • Receive your certification

What is a LEED Accredited Professional and how do I become one?

LEED Professional Accreditation distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED certification process. LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System. The Professional Accreditation program has transitioned to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Learn how you can become a LEED Accredited Professional.