Green Building’s LEED Credit Promotes Sustainable Forestry

The green building movement – from architects and builders to specifiers and planners – can now benefit from an expanded range of responsibly sourced timber and forest products eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has just issued an Alternative Compliance Path (ACP). The ACP rewards building projects that use “wood products from certified sources as defined by ASTM D7612-10”, which includes internationally recognized voluntary forest certification standards such as PEFC (including its North American based members ATFS, CSA and SFI) and FSC. The ACP will apply to all LEED v4 rating systems including Homes v4 and to all LEED 2009 rating systems.

Kingsgate House is a seven-story residential project in West London which was the first major construction project in the world to achieve PEFC Project Certification.

“Sustainable, PEFC-certified timber provides architects and the construction industry with great opportunities,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “The possibilities are rather exciting in addressing challenges such as climate change, growing populations and urbanization, especially as wood offers innovative building solutions with a minimal environmental footprint.”

With LEED now including PEFC, construction projects can in the future obtain both LEED and PEFC Project Chain of Custody certification.

“The construction industry is one of the largest buyers of timber products – this means the sector has a huge influence on the type of timber in demand,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg. “With PEFC-certified timber offering the widest choice of sustainable timber available to architects, specifiers and designers, we are poised to see an increase of wood used in construction.”

Wood is an increasingly popular choice for construction because of its aesthetic qualities, and numerous environmental benefits – including renewability and a lower carbon footprint than other materials. Forest certification provides evidence that wood originates from sustainable managed forests. PEFC, the world’s leading forest certification system, is recognized by green building councils globally and has received top scores in independent evaluations, for example by the UK government.

Source: PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification

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The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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