Photo from housefish.com
See the Forest and the Trees
And the changes are in the right spirit - opening the opportunity for other sustainable wood products to be valued as options in LEED projects will create more competition, and hopefully cause certified woods to reduce in price. Moreover, it might even cause non-sustainable companies to jump on the bandwagon and go green with their products. Either way, the outlook will, most likely, be positive for green projects wanting to use sustainable woods.
The second public comment period for the proposed revisions to the USGBC Forest Certification Benchmark ("the Benchmark") and related LEED credits is open until October 14, 2009 at 5:00pm PST. If you're passionate about sustainable forestry, market stimulation for green products or just wanna make your voice heard, you'll need to hurry to beat the deadline. Anyone may comment on the proposed changes (after creating a site user account on the USGBC web site). Then simply go to the comment page. You'll have the option to speak your mind about any one or all four of the Forest Certification Benchmark sections. Each section asks you to answer the same two questions, one being "For this section, do you believe that the prerequisites and credits are appropriate for exemplary forest certification (e.g., technical rigor, market usability, environmental performance)? Please explain." If this seems a little foreign to you, you may want to study up for the test. LEED can get technical quick. You can also make your peace with how each credit within each rating system is wording the changes. This is especially important for LEED-APs out there that at focus on one of the rating systems being revised.