Joining other branches of the military as well as several government agencies, the U.S. Army announced recently that it would begin using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for the design and construction of facilities.

By 2008, the Army will transition completely from its own Sustainable Project Rating Tool (SPiRiT) to the LEED system in an effort to integrate the principles and practices of sustainability and to minimize the impacts and total ownership costs of Army facilities and operations. &quotIt is important that we all continue to emphasize sustainability and incorporate sustainable design and development practices into facilities built on our installations,&quot Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Housing) Joseph W. Whitaker said in a January 2006 memorandum. &quotThis is just one way we are reducing our energy consumption and optimizing life cycle economic performance.&quot