The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that projects seeking certification under the LEED Green Building Rating System can now earn Innovation in Design points by using the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) program for certified building products, as well as products certified by other established systems.

C2C assesses products on a number of criteria, such as the use of safe and healthy materials, design for material reuse and recycling, efficient use of energy and water throughout production, and instituting strategies for social responsibility.

“This helps expand LEED’s environmental focus to what’s being used, reused or recycled and not just on the amount of recycled content,” said William McDonough, managing principal of MBDC, product and process design.

Innovation in Design points are awarded to LEED projects that develop new solutions, employ new technologies, educate and/or realize exemplary performance in another area. USGBC pioneered the achievement of innovation points for using the criteria of the C2C program during the certification of its own new LEED Platinum headquarters in Washington, D.C. While reviewing USGBC’s submission, the Materials & Resources Technical Advisory Group noted that future projects also could pursue points for using other existing, established product-certification programs.

USGBC is publishing all Innovation in Design Credits that have been awarded to LEED-certified projects on the organization’s Web site, www.usgbc.org.

“The goal of the Innovation in Design category is to inspire new ideas and solutions,” noted Scot Horst, chair of the LEED Steering Committee. “By sharing this information, we’ll drive further innovations and help to advance the practice of green building.” EC