SFI Raises Forest Certification Awareness at AIA Show

SFI’s Jason Metnick, who works directly with companies in the wood and paper supply chain, headed to the American Institute of Architects Expo 2010 in Miami. The conference is held this year at the Miami Beach Convention Center June 10-12. Check out his coverage of the first day below.

“Design as Exploration” is the theme of the 2010 AIA Expo, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Responsible building and design are often seen as necessities to many architects and builders, which is a welcome evolution. We want to further that thinking by spreading the word about the role of forest certification and SFI in green building, as well as the overall benefits of using wood as a building material.

Today, SFI premiered a short video outlining the importance of forest certification in green building. Green building represents optimism and growth, and the fact that the industry is growing so quickly means progress in recognizing and using more responsible materials. Wood is renewable, durable and aesthetically pleasing, making it an outstanding resource for building projects. While we are thrilled many architects and builders recognize this fact, we think it’s imperative LEED open its system to all credible forest certification systems, including SFI.

LEED limits itself and the future of green building by only recognizing FSC-certified wood. As Kathy has discussed in previous posts, wood should get credit for being wood-it’s a more responsible choice than other building materials that LEED is crediting. Using wood products from certified forests goes another step above and beyond. Forest certification provides assurance to buyers that they are getting wood and paper products from a responsible source, backed by a rigorous third-party certification audit. However, limiting the forest certification credit to FSC-certified products may discourage builders from using wood at all. We continue to encourage the USGBC to open its LEED rating system to benefit North American forests and the economy.

If you’re at the AIA Expo in Miami, stop by booth #1892 and the film festival to say hello and learn more about what SFI has to offer. You can also follow SFI happenings from AIA on Twitter . For continual updates on potential changes to LEED, go to www.sfiprogram.com/leed.

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