WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) debuted new green programs at its 89th Annual Convention in Las Vegas, held last month. These new initiatives are efforts designed to help educate and prepare contractors about trends in the green building arena.

"We are at the forefront of educating members on building green and providing the most up-to-date information on industry standards," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "Our members are building our nation’s leading green projects."

AGC unveiled a new full-day course for contractors, Building to LEED-NC: Overview and the Impact on Construction Practices, to explain the contractor’s role in a project intended to achieve certification under LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC). The debut is sponsored in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Clean Diesel Program. This new course outlines all of the prerequisites and credits within the LEED-NC rating system and identifies which have a major, moderate, or some impact on construction practices. It also provides a more detailed analysis to the ways those credits with a "major impact" will affect estimating decisions, scheduling, documentation, contracts, and other construction activities.

Following its debut, the curriculum materials will be available to AGC chapters and other organizations to enable them to deliver local workshops for construction professionals on the LEED-NC rating system. The curriculum is based on research funded by the AGC Education and Research Foundation granted through the Klinger Award and completed by the Michigan State University-Construction Management Program in August 2007. In addition, AGC has recently joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the developers of LEED, and started the registration process to enroll the course curriculum in the council’s Education Provider Program. This course is pending review and approval through that program. USGBC Education Provider courses undergo a thorough review of instructional design and subject matter.