Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LEED Release Delayed Amid Controversy

The U. S. Green Building Council announced last week that it will delay release of Version 4 of its environmental rating system for construction projects, and extend the comment period through December 10, 2012, due to an unprecedented level of 22,000 comments on the current draft. After further comment, voting on the new version will likely be delayed until next June.

USGBC has already certified 40,000 construction projects in 130 countries worldwide, and it says 1.5 million square feet of new building space is certified daily. Special interests throughout the construction industry are seeking through comments to “fix” the latest draft. The U. S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, and American High Performance Buildings Coalition all contend the proposed standards will unfairly affect market share for their products.

Isn’t that just what LEED is supposed to do? By getting building materials deemed harmful to the environment out of use, indoor air quality and people’s health are supposed to improve. Let’s hope the USGBC can hold the line against makers of noxious products who are just trying to hold onto the old ways.

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