Monday, June 20, 2011
LEED Adds Pilot Credit Recognizing Non-FSC Certifications
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will allow non-FSC-certified wood products to qualify for a pilot LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credit. The change was introduced Wednesday.
Pilot Credit 43: Certified Products is divided into three weighted tiers of 50 percent, 100 percent and 200 percent of one credit. Under this credit, FSC-certified products are weighted at 50 percent—the same as other forest certification programs, including Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Projects can still earn MR Credit 7: Certified Wood, and FSC is still the only certification recognized for that credit.
Whether non-FSC certified wood products can earn LEED credits has long been a bone of contention. This latest development is a reversal of fortune for groups striving to have wood certifications besides FSC recognized under LEED. In December, USGBC members voted down a proposed Forest Certification Benchmark, which would have established a standard against which all forest certification systems would be evaluated to determine whether they can earn points in the LEED green building certification system.
USGBC bills the LEED Pilot Credit Library as proving grounds for proposed LEED credits. According to the USGBC, it is a "mechanism for testing proposed credits in the marketplace and gaining real-time feedback on their usability as well as their ability to meet a credit’s intent."