North Carolina law would ban LEED green building certification

The LEED certification system gives a single dinky point for using lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It does not give a point for lumber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI); which, after years of trying to join LEED, is now out to destroy it, state by state. The latest battleground for the war in the woods is North Carolina, where legislation has been tabled which specifically rejects any rating system that doesn't give equal credit to SFI:

To achieve sustainable building standards, a construction project may utilize a nationally recognized high performance environmental building rating system, provided that any such rating system (i) does not use a material or product-based credit system disadvantaging materials or products manufactured or produced in this State; (ii) gives certification credits equally to forest products grown, manufactured, and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the American Tree Farm System, and the Forest Stewardship Council;

...or is not developed in the ANSI framework:

(iii)ust be developed in conformity with American National Standards Institute procedures; and (iv) must either be approved as American National Standards or developed by a designator audited by the American National Standards Institute.

This would appear to be a plug for the Green Globes system; LEED is not an ANSI standard.

The executive director of the USGBC in North Carolina points out that local lumber already gets credit under LEED. She tells the Charlotte Business Journal:

“Regionally and responsibly produced N.C. products already benefit from the use of LEED through the “regional materials” credits so including language that prohibits the pursuit of LEED doesn’t make sense. If the goal is to increase the use of N.C. building products, then the bill language should or could state that without mentioning green building rating systems.”

No matter; the lumber and chemical industry are determined and relentless in their campaign to water down green building certification.

It is surprising that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative is welcome in North Carolina; this is the state where another legislator tried to ban the use of the word sustainable.

Tags: LEED | North Carolina

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