The Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International has become among the first trade associations entirely dedicated to wholesale distribution to join the U.S. Green Building Council.

The USGBC started the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification system for recognizing “green buildings.” HARDI says its members, which serve commercial markets, have become very savvy with the LEED certification, and the entire membership is eagerly anticipating the introduction of the LEED for homes initiative later this year.

“HARDI is very excited about joining the Green Building Council, and I believe we have much to offer as significant drivers of energy-saving systems and training to all kinds of markets,” said HARDI Executive Vice President and COO Donald Frendberg.

The association is planning how to best direct its resources and the expertise of its membership toward the USGBC.

“HARDI distributors have been promoting and advancing energy efficiency for decades, but now we have political and public support for our efforts embodied best by the USGBC and their LEED initiatives,” said HARDI HVAC Systems and Equipment Council Chairman Tom Roberts of CFM Distributors in Kansas City, Mo. “We’re hoping LEED for homes will support the total-envelope approach we’ve always brought to the residential marketplace. It is exciting to see HARDI partner with other industry leaders to advance this and other valuable LEED initiatives.”

Frendberg said joining the council was a natural for HARDI.

“We’ve already seen LEED certification become mandatory for many commercial buildings around the country, so there is no doubt about the USGBC’s influence in the future of U.S. development,” he said. “What really drove us to join the Green Building Council, though, was the extent to which many of our members were already involved in various LEED-certified projects. Our members support the initiative and believe they can be instrumental in perfecting LEED, both commercially and residentially.”