WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) announced this morning the release of “Building Momentum: National Trends and Prospects for High-Performance Green Buildings”. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) coordinated and prepared the report for the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, on which Jeffords serves as Ranking Member. The report demonstrates the economic and environmental viability of building high-performance “green” buildings. Buildings that meet the standards of the report increase workers' productivity, consume less energy and water, produce less waste, and can save significant natural and monetary resources in operation and management costs. “With the support of the 'Building Momentum' report, I intend to work in a bi-partisan way with my Senate and House colleagues to ensure that the Federal government does its part to promote the economic, environmental, and health benefits that can be realized within a 'greener' built environment,” said Jeffords. “I believe we ought to encourage and expand upon this sort of Federal leadership.” Jeffords intends to introduce legislation that would help architects and builders take advantage of the recommendations outlined in the “Building Momentum” report. Jeffords said his bill will, “seek to increase existing and future high-performance building research, better coordinate on-going Federal efforts in this area, and provide for public outreach, education, and assistance wherever it will help strengthen markets and lower costs.” The U.S. Green Building Council works to encourage buildings to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which sets a standard for green buildings and recognizes achievements in this field of buildings design and construction. “We know that a movement is afoot,” said Jim Hartzfeld, Chairman of the USGBC Board and Vice President for Sustainability at Interface Americas, Inc. “Now the key is to strengthen existing Federal policies to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of green building.” In Vermont, there are several LEED-registered buildings that are seeking certification, including the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington and the Michael S. Currier Center at the Putney School in Putney. For more information, the website of the U.S. Green Building Coalition is located at http://www.usgbc.org/.