SAN FRANCISCO - Google is ponying up a $3 million grant to help advance the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) indoor air quality programs.

U.S. Green Building Council Gets $3M Google GrantAnnouncement of the grant was made last week at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

USGBC said the grant monies will help it create healthier indoor environments and encourage market transformation in the building materials industry. Three new initiatives will be developed over the next two years, including:

* Supporting research on building materials and health;

* Developing new transparency tools; and

* Engaging stakeholders from across the industry.

"Healthy, non-toxic building materials are a critical component in green building," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC.. "Fostering awareness of the materials we put into our buildings is of paramount importance, since many materials can link to a host of environmental and health issues. Working with Google enables us to broaden our efforts in the materials industry as we prepare for the next version of the LEED green building program, LEED v4. This updated rating system will paint a more complete picture of materials and products, enabling project teams to make more informed decisions."

Anthony Ravitz, Google's Green Team lead, said, "The idea for this project emerged from our own work at Google, where we're committed to creating the healthiest work environments possible that help employees perform at their best." 

The 11th annual Greenbuild opened last Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Moscone Center, a LEED Gold-rated facility. Some 35,000 members of the green building industry were expected to attend the event.

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