As part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) quinquennial review of third-party green-building certification systems, the GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee recently recommended that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) be used for all federal new-construction and major-modernization projects.

The GSA is considering three green-building certification systems: LEED, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes, and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. The GSA will use input from the public, stakeholders, and experts to make a recommendation of one system, multiple systems, or no system.

"GSA's recommendation will be made this summer," a GSA spokesman said. "Once GSA makes its recommendation, ... it will then be considered by the secretaries of energy and defense, along with multiple agencies that manage federal buildings. Following this review, a decision will be made for the entire federal government."

For the last five years, the GSA has used LEED 2009 for new-construction and major-modernization projects, with LEED Gold the target level.

The GSA's Green Building Advisory Board is made up of federal employees and external stakeholders.

According to the USGBC, a study conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that LEED-certified GSA buildings use 25 percent less energy and cost 19 percent less to operate than the national average.

More than 4,000 government projects are LEED-certified, with another 8,000 in the pipeline as registered projects, the USGBC said.