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USGBC Opens Comment Period on Changes to Certified Wood Credits in LEED



After two years of study, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has opened a public comment period for members to sound off on a proposed revision to award points for the use of certified wood in the LEED green building rating system.


After two years of study, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has opened a public comment period for members to sound off on a proposed revision to award points for the use of certified wood in the LEED green building rating system.

The focus of the proposed LEED credit language changes is on transparency, setting forth a clear set of metrics, proposed as the USGBC Forest Certification System Benchmark, that any forest certification system must meet in order to be recognized within LEED. Currently, only wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council are eligible for LEED points.

Under the newly proposed credit language, wood certification systems would be evaluated for eligibility to earn points towards LEED certification against a measurable benchmark that includes:

• Governance
• Technical/Standards Substance
• Accreditation and Auditing
• Chain of Custody and Labeling

Wood certification programs that are deemed compliant with the benchmark after thorough objective analysis would be recognized by LEED, USGBC says. Those wood certification programs that are not found to be in alignment with the benchmark would have a clear and transparent understanding of what modifications are necessary to receive recognition under LEED.

USGBC has been studying this issue for two years with input from a widely diverse set of stakeholders, and with the support of internationally recognized experts from the Yale Program on Forest Policy and Governance and Life Cycle Assessment experts at Sylvatica. This research served as a foundation for the proposed wood credit language changes, USGBC says.

USGBC began the process of re-examining the wood certification in 2006, when its Board of Directors charged the LEED Steering Committee to study the question and propose revised credit language, if appropriate. This focused work followed on the 2004 efforts of the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group (MR TAG) to introduce a new version of the wood certification credit as a part of the v2.1 update to the LEED rating system, which was ultimately set aside due to timing issues in the face of an overwhelming response to the question.

The public comment period will be open until 5 p.m. PST Sunday, Sept. 7, USGBC says.




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  posted on 8/13/2008   Article Use Policy




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