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National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC)

Working Together for Cleaner Air

Clean Construction

excavator and dump truck
LEED Clean Construction Pilot Credit Available

On January 18, 2013, the US Green Building Council announced a Clean Construction Pilot Credit Exit EPA Disclaimer that can be used toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

"Providing an opportunity to achieve credit toward LEED certification for use of clean diesel construction equipment during the construction phase makes perfect sense." said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "Application of the Clean Construction pilot credit will help protect the health of workers and neighboring residents by reducing exposure to higher concentrations of particulate matter from older diesel equipment."

The LEED Pilot Credit Library is designed to test new and revised LEED credit language, alternative compliance paths, and new or innovative green building technologies and concepts.

The Clean Construction Pilot Credit includes:

  • Pollution standards for vehicles and equipment
  • Idling limits
  • Staging area requirements
  • Data gathering

A three-year transition period allows for newer, cleaner equipment to penetrate the marketplace.


Diesel equipment provides the power needed for construction activities. However, emissions from construction equipment impact the health of people on and near construction sites.

Reducing exposure to diesel exhaust in and around construction areas is important for public health and the environment. Although EPA regulations apply to new diesel engines, diesel engines can last over 30 years. Clean Construction provides innovative strategies for reducing emissions from older engines.

In addition, EPA offers funding for diesel emission reduction programs. In January 2011, President Obama signed legislation reauthorizing DERA funding to eligible entities for projects that reduce emissions from existing diesel engines. Appropriations are determined by Congress on an annual basis.

Green Building standards and codes are on the rise and having an influence on the construction industry. The Steering Committee of the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) in coordination with representatives from state air agencies, US EPA, emission control manufacturers, environmental organizations, and the construction industry has published two noteworthy documents: Model Contract Specification (PDF) (11 pp, 100K, December 2010, About PDF)) and Best Practices for Clean Diesel Construction: Successful Implementation of Equipment Specifications to Minimize Diesel Pollution (PDF) (9 pp, 1.2MB, September 2012) Exit EPA Disclaimer. In January, 2012 the US Green Building Council released a Clean Construction Pilot Credit that can be used toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)  certification. Construction fleet owners are finding that operating clean diesel fleets makes them more competitive for Green Building jobs.

Project owners play important roles in helping to reduce diesel emissions at construction sites, as well as at neighboring structures that can receive emissions through air intakes, doors, and open windows. Documents describing low cost solutions for clean construction such as idle reduction, and other information about strategies for reducing diesel emissions during construction are available on the Publications page.

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