The following is taken from an email from the USGBC relating to taking comments in relation to certified wood.  Friday August 8, 2008, the USGBC opened the first 30-day Public Comment Period for proposed revisions in how the LEED Green Building Rating System awards points for the use of certified wood.  Comments are being sought on: (1) the proposed revisions to the credit’s intent and requirements and (2) the criteria proposed in the USGBC Forest Certification System Benchmark.

The Public Comment Period will be open Friday, August 8 through Sunday, September 7, 5:00 PDT.

USGBC will respond to all comments and post the comments and responses (without commenter names or organizations) to the USGBC Web site.  If changes are made as a result of comments, a 15-day second public comment period will be conducted on those changes.  USGBC membership primary contacts will vote on the final draft.  Visit the Certified Wood and Rating Systems Drafts pages for more information and to participate.

The focus of the proposed LEED credit language revisions is on transparency, setting forth a clear set of metrics that any forest certification system must meet in order to be recognized within LEED.  Currently, only wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council are eligible for LEED points.

Under the newly proposed credit language, wood certification systems would be evaluated for eligibility to earn points towards LEED certification against a measurable benchmark that includes:

  • Governance
  • Technical/Standards Substance
  • Accreditation and Auditing
  • Chain of Custody and Labeling

Documents posted for public review and comment clearly set forth the proposed benchmark with great detail in order to facilitate a robust dialog.

If approved by USGBC membership, wood certified under programs deemed compliant after thorough, objective analysis would be recognized by LEED and could earn project points towards LEED certification.  If a program is deemed non-compliant, the certification program administrators would have a clear understanding of what modifications are necessary to receive recognition under LEED.  The process by which this evaluation will occur is being developed and will be enacted only if USGBC members approve the proposed credit revisions.

Although this proposal is independent of the work we’re undertaking in our LEED v3 initiative, it is related in its intent to help take LEED to the next level.  Your comments are important to our efforts to continue LEED’s evolution and we encourage your participation.  Comment Today!

Credit: Christopher.Johnson.