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    The Costa Rica chapter of the Green Building Council (www.crgbc.org) was notified of induction into the World Green Building Council (www.worldgbc.org) on March 24, 2009. Environmental sustainability in Costa Rica is a major social concern as the country covers 0.01% of the world’s land surface yet contains over 5% of the world’s biodiversity.

    In 2007, officials of the Costa Rican government stated that they aim to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2021. In 2008, Yale University ranked Costa Rica as 5th in Environmental Performance among 149 countries sampled. The chairman of the Costa Rica chapter, Craig Williamson, stated, “The establishment of this chapter marks a historic point in Costa Rican history. It provides Real Estate developers the tools and information needed to make sustainability and carbon neutrality an attainable goal.”

    Few countries in Latin America have established chapters beneath the World Green Building Council. Currently, the only established chapters are in Brazil, Mexico, and now Costa Rica. “There has been an overwhelming response from people wanting to join this chapter,” Franklin Paniagu, General Manager of the CRGBC, said. “We can provide LEED education and certification to the developers and help them make this happen.”

    LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green-rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It establishes standards and practices for developers to create sustainable properties and provides accredited inspectors to guide and certify a development. The certifications can range from simply “Certified” all the way up to “Platinum”, which is the highest level of sustainability and resource conservation.

    The World Green Building Council has established chapters in fourteen countries, and eight more are in development. Examples of their ongoing efforts include: the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC, the California EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento, CA, and the Guanacaste Country Club in Costa Rica. All of these developments operate in the highest level of sustainability, LEED Platinum.

    “We want a new wave of sustainability to spark in Costa Rica, and we want to spread that fire throughout Latin America-a new chapter in every country, LEED a household name,” Mr. Williamson, who is also the President/CEO of ERA Real Estate in Latin America (http://www.eralatinamerica.com/), said. “Green building is the future of Real Estate across the world, and we’re going to keep pushing until that future is a reality.”

    For information about the World Green Building Council, visit http://www.worldgbc.org/

    About The Costa Rica Green Building Council
    The Costa Rica Green Building Council is a non-profit organization providing education and resources to developers and individuals interested in sustainable building practices. The future of green building is shaped by GBCCR members who join committees, the core of the consensus-based process that develops LEED, educational offerings, Greenbuild, and other programs. Our commitment to preserving the wildlife and natural beauty of Costa Rica is what drives us to create a more beautiful, healthier world.

    If you are an individual interested in promoting green building, or even if you work for a GBCCR Corporate Member company, Individual membership allows you to get plugged-in with education, networking, and advocacy efforts that will enrich your neighborhood, city and region.

    Visit http://www.crgbc.org/, http://www.worldgbc.org/, and http://www.era.com/ to learn more.

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