The U.S. Green Building Council, widely known for its LEED green building rating system, says that more federal funding is needed to continue developing green building technologies. Currently only 0.2 percent of all federally funded research is given to green building, according to a recent USGBC report.

            “Funding levels are not proportionate with the level of impact that the built environment has on our nation’s economy, environment and the quality of life,” says Gail Brager, chair of USGBC’s Research Committee. Formed last year, the committee recommends increased research in areas including energy and water security, global climate change prevention, and indoor environmental quality.

            Brager notes that this renewed commitment to research would bring about “a major shift in design, construction, renovation and operation practices necessary to facilitate large-scale improvements to health and environmental conditions.”

            The USGBC notes that the decision to increase funding rests with the two federal agencies primarily responsible for funding academic research – the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. The group says that an estimated federal funding increase of 0.08 percent of the annual construction value – or $1 billion annually -- would help the USGBC reach its research goals. Currently, the green building segment receives only 0.02 percent of the annual construction value for research, or $193 million.