Washington, D.C., October 14, 2003—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is currently accepting pilot applications for the newly developed LEED Core and Shell Rating System. The new product, crafted by a committee of leading experts around the country, is designed to address special market needs of real estate developers. Pilot projects are designed to provide on-the-ground testing of the rating system for refinement before formal release to the market place. The pilot program will be tested for approximately one year at which time the Council will send the program to ballot through the Council membership. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ for Core and Shell Development (LEED-CS) is a set of performance standards for the sustainable design and construction of speculative and core and shell buildings. LEED-CS joins current rating systems for new construction of whole buildings (LEED-NC), operations and maintenance of existing buildings (LEED-EB), and fit out of commercial interiors (LEED-CI). Since its 2000 launch, LEED has gained significant market share in these sectors, turning now to this yet unaddressed market segment. LEED-CS will apply to building projects where the owner does not control the interior design and fit-out of individual space. LEED Core and Shell aims to evaluate design and construction projects solely based on the performance of those aspects of the project that the owner controls. “We are particularly excited about the potential offered by this new product,” said Christine Ervin, President & CEO for the U.S. Green Building Council. “Pilot applicants have a unique opportunity to help us shape the product for maximum impact in the market.”The rigor of the LEED Rating System is maintained by a thorough review of the LEED-CS documentation upon completion of construction, and if the building satisfies the criteria, it will receive the official LEED certification. LEED Cores and Shell is designed to be complementary to the LEED for Commercial Interiors Rating System with the specific goal that a LEED-CS certified building that incorporates a LEED-CI certified interior fit-out will be equivalent to a LEED-NC certified building. For the Core and Shell developer to gain market advantage from their LEED initiatives, LEED-CS will allow for “pre-certification” prior to the construction of the building. This is essentially a statement from the developer outlining the building features and expected level of performance. In response, a parallel statement from USGBC will grant LEED-CS certification upon completion and verification of the documented measures taken. With this distinction, the developer will be empowered to market high performance sustainable design with a higher level of credibility. "We are challenging ourselves as well as our tenants and clients with the LEED certification processes. We will definitely use sustainable design features in marketing our properties to brokers and users,” said Jerry Lea, Senior Vice President of Conceptual Construction for Hines. About LEEDThe LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovative Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green building.For more information on U.S. Green Building Council and LEED programs, visit www.usgbc.org.