Plastic People Set Up "American High-Performance Buildings Coalition" To Fight Restrictions on Plastics in Green Building

The American Chemistry Council is so busy these days; First they are getting the BPA out of baby bottles, and now they are very, very big on energy efficiency. So big, that they are concerned that the LEED rating system is a problem. So now they have set up yet another group, The American High-Performance Buildings Coalition with their friends at the US Chamber of congress and 25 other businesses and plastic people.

They don't like some proposed LEED credits that might limit the use of PVC and vinyl, or as Jennifer Sass notes at NRDC Switchboard,

What don't the toxic chemical companies like about the proposed improvements to LEED? The new proposed LEED Version 4 standard will give credits for building teams that use materials that do not cause cancer, birth defects, and other health or environmental impairments.

On the other hand, the Plastic People say that chemicals like PVC are "essential for an energy efficient building."

According to The National Journal,

The proposed LEED standards include three different credits given to builders for not using certain plastics and chemicals, such as polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. The American Chemistry Council's Keith Christman, managing director of plastic markets, said these chemicals are needed for materials that improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

"This casts a shadow on products essential to providing energy efficiency," Christman told the Alley. "We're strongly supportive of energy efficiency. This isn't about us against USGBC, it's about us against these three credits."

They trot out their old line about how LEED is not ANSI or ISO, like their good buddies at the Green Building Initiative:

The mission of this new coalition is to support and promote green building codes, standards, rating systems and credits that are developed in conformance with full [American National Standards Institute] or ISO-type consensus processes, are data-driven, supported by science, and performance-based.

The USGBC, which administers the LEED program, issued a press release that almost seems a bit tongue in cheek:

We welcome the announcement of the formation of the American High Performance Building Council, but as Ronald Reagan once said, we will 'trust but verify.'

"Like the newly formed coalition, USGBC also supports the use of green building codes and standards, in addition to third party rating systems like LEED, and has proudly worked with leading code development organizations to co-release the leading mandatory green building codes….

If this coalition is sincere in its interest to advance high-performance buildings over the status quo, we welcome them to the table and sincerely look forward to engaging together to make green buildings more valuable to Americans."

The ACC and their associates have billions of dollars and the best lobbyists and politicians you can buy (see the letter their caucus sent to the GSA here) Baby bottles are nothing compared to the fight to save vinyl and PVC; this is war.

Tags: Green Building | Plastics