Welcome Guest

STAR’s Merger with USGBC

The STAR Communities nonprofit organization merged with the U.S. Green Building Council earlier this year. This blog post is intended to share frequently asked questions. 


What happened to STAR Full Access subscriptions with the merger?

All active STAR subscribers have become USGBC members at the Silver level. For a full list of Silver level member benefits: https://new.usgbc.org/benefits/silver

Active STAR subscribers also receive complimentary access to the Arc online platform for the first five years for the purposes of tracking and certifying future sustainability performance. Staff are working with STAR subscriptions on an individual basis to assist with the transition and answer any questions.

While STAR’s online resources will remain available on the STAR website in the near term, all communities are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the LEED for Cities & Communities content and resources. We will follow up with additional information and resources, provide technical assistance and respond to questions along the way.

What is the Arc platform and how will local governments use it?

Arc is the online platform used by USGBC to collect, manage and benchmark data. Local governments input data on Arc to respond to the performance metrics of the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities rating systems. In addition to the metrics associated with the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities rating systems, communities can report data on Arc for other metrics. These may be metrics that communities are already tracking or common metrics identified with other peer communities to track together. The Arc platform offers customization to meet the sustainability goals of communities.

My community was planning to purchase a STAR subscription. Now what should we do?

All STAR Basic Access communities are encouraged to engage with USGBC and the updated LEED for Cities Rating System. As appreciation for being part of the STAR network, Basic Access communities who become STAR subscribers before the end of 2018 will become USGBC members at the Silver level. For a full list of Silver level member benefits: https://new.usgbc.org/benefits/silver

Active STAR subscribers also receive complimentary access to the Arc online platform for the first five years for the purposes of tracking and certifying future sustainability performance. Staff are working with STAR subscriptions on an individual basis to assist with the transition and answer any questions.

What are the options available to communities ready to certify now?

Our goal is to meet communities where they are and to provide flexibility and options for their certification needs. We are currently working toward the release of a new, expanded LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities certification program that incorporates content from the STAR Community Rating System and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Until that product is released, communities can pursue:

What happens to STAR certifications with the merger?

There is no impact to STAR certifications with the merger. USGBC now owns the STAR certification mark, but there is no change to your existing recognition or recertification deadline.

We encourage communities pursuing certification or recertification to use the new, expanded LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities program once released. However, we understand that cities and counties evaluated their community conditions across STAR’s framework during their initial baseline and may want to see trends and report direct progress.  We will work individually with communities to determine the best path forward.

After 2019, all community certifications will happen under LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities.

What is the governance structure for LEED for Cities?

The LEED Steering Committee is the governing body for all LEED rating systems. We hope to add to that governance process additional structures specific to cities and communities in 2019.


If you have additional questions, please reach out to your point of contact. Unsure who your point of contact is? You can always use the ‘Contact Us’ feature at https://www.usgbc.org/contactus and your inquiry will be routed accordingly!

Leave a Reply