USGBC announces virtual tour

Press Release: Greenbuild International Conference & Expo

CHICAGO — The U.S. Green Building Council Education Department announced an innovative virtual tour of their headquarters. The project is in the final stages of testing and is expected to go live within the next few weeks.

The renovation of USGBC’s offices was certified as LEED® Platinum and touring the space was already very popular with visitors. By going virtual with the tour, USGBC is meeting its mandate of promoting sustainable development and reaching a much broader audience.

“We are developing a model that we hope to expand well beyond this initial pilot project,” said Thom Lowther, Vice-President Education of USGBC. “Our vision is to create virtual tours of sustainable projects around the world and therefore making them easily accessible to design professionals at their desktop.”

The resulting presentation is a three-dimensional model with embedded complimentary courses, videos, audio podcasts, 3D models of building products and materials, and text.

While the tour itself qualifies for continuing education credit, several other courses based on the products used in the USGBC offices will be linked within the virtual environment. Today, these courses are “Next Generation Green Restroom Design” by Excel Dryer Inc./Sloan Valve Company, “NSF/ANSI 140 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet Standard” by The Mohawk Group, “Gypsum Board: Beyond Recycled Content” by National Gypsum, “High Performing Interiors for High Performance Buildings” by USG Corporation, “Going for Gold: A Case Study of Recycled Glass and Concrete Surfaces with Cradle to Cradle® Certification” by IceStone, LLC, and “Sustainable High Pressure Decorative Laminate” by Wilsonart International, Inc. But it is expected that many more courses will be added over the next year making the tour a wide and varied educational opportunity for design professionals.

The virtual tour was developed by Igloo Studios. Igloo recreated the USGBC headquarters in 3D from CAD drawings and photographs using Google SketchUp. SketchUp is a powerful application for 3D design that anyone can download for free. The building’s interior features smaller models of building products and materials (such as a waterfree urinal). Along with the main model, these product models are available for download in the Google 3D Warehouse.

The completed model was imported into Google Earth. With Google Earth’s free desktop software, you can explore a 3D model of Earth and overlay customized geographic & 3D data above detailed maps. Thanks to the Google Earth plug-in and Javascript API, the USGBC tour can leverage the look, feel, and function of this interactive globe through a web browser.

AEC Daily Corp. put together the various project partners and underwriters. They are also providing the learning management system that handles course hosting, delivery and testing, as well as credit management and reporting. Through AEC Daily, the tour and its associated courses will meet the educational requirement of, be certified by or be approved by 24 professional organizations and most regulatory authorities.

About U.S. Green Building Council

The USGBC community is transforming the way we build, design and operate our buildings for healthier places that save precious resources for people to live, work, learn and play in.  UGSBC is helping create buildings and communities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Council is the driving force of the green building industry, which is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product by 2013. USGBC leads a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials, concerned citizens, teachers and students.  The USGBC community comprises 80 local chapters, 17,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 individuals who have earned LEED Professional Credentials.  Visit for more information.

About Igloo Studios:

Igloo Studios uses Google SketchUp to create 3D solutions for AEC industry companies. Responsible for producing interactive 3D product models for building product manufacturers, Igloo delivers a powerful medium through which manufacturers can reach construction industry professionals. Designers have come to count on Igloo’s 3D product models to make selection and specification of building products visual and pain-free. Learn more at

About AEC Daily:

AEC Daily is the largest provider of FREE online continuing education to construction professionals. Courses are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and credits are automatically submitted to AIA, CSI and other organizations. Architects, engineers, interior designers and other construction professionals rely on AEC Daily to maintain their accreditation with ease. cr=”true” href=””>

SOURCE U.S. Green Building Council

Latest posts by Press Release (see all)