Not Enough Votes for LEED-Certified Wood Benchmark

Posted by Rumin Mann
December 8th, 2010

A proposed rewrite of the certified wood policy in the LEED rating systems failed to get enough votes from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) members to become policy. USGBC announced that of the 965 people who had opted in to a voting body, 54 percent voted, with 55 percent of those voting “Yes,” and 42 percent voting “No.” Three percent abstained. Without a two-thirds majority, the policy failed to pass under LEED rules, and the certified wood credits will remain unchanged.

Only certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is recognized under credits in the various LEED rating systems awarding points for sustainably harvested forest products. For the last decade, other groups, especially the more industry-friendly Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), have sought entry. A proposal emerged from USGBC’s technical committees over the last several years that would have judged certification programs against a benchmark created by USGBC. The benchmark was expected to continue to allow full credit for only FSC, and also allow partial recognition of SFI.

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