Part of the reason for the extensive debate was concern over how high to set the standards for resources and materials. The FSC® was strongly in favor of maintaining a high bar, recognizing the top performers in each sector, and using the credit for important environmental protections.
LEED® v4’s key credits include a requirement that companies disclose the source of their raw materials. In order to receive the credit, they must use certified products that are: “at least 25%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed building products.” Wood products must be certified by the FSC® or an equivalent program approved by the USGBC. Alternatively, they can be recycled or reused products. When products are sourced within 100 miles, their value doubles.
The final vote garnered 86% of the support of the members, showing that we’re not alone in our dedication to preserving America’s magnificent forests. Wood is an extremely sustainable building material, as long as it comes from a properly managed and harvested forest. With the passage of LEED® v4, there is even more incentive to conserve, protect, manage, and responsibly harvest millions more acres of forests.
Now that the debate over LEED® standards is settled, we’re hopeful that other companies across the country will join us in enjoying the benefits of FSC® certification – not the least of which is knowing that you’re helping to preserve America’s forests. From landowners with woods they’d like to harvest sustainably, to mills and lumberyards, businesses have been waiting to see whether LEED® v4 would pass before committing to their own certification. Now there is no doubt about the benefits: with the uncertainty settled, the demand for green building products is sure to grow.
As a leader in the field of reclaimed wood, Centennial Woods is very happy that LEED® v4 has finally passed. Contact us to find out how you can incorporate reclaimed wood in your next project and help us ‘keep it green’.