US Green Building New Draft Forest Certification Benchmarks Miss the Point

On September 15th, 2009 the US Green Building Council released the second draft of the benchmarks for the certified wood credit in the LEED rating tool. Many of us are disappointed with the direction the benchmarks have gone.

When USGBC began the process of revising its standard, the hope was that it would take an inclusive approach and include a variety of credible certification programs like SFI. That is the approach taken by numerous programs, including Green Build Initiative’s Green Globes system for commercial building in the US, Green Globes Canada for commercial building in Canada and NAHB’s Green Building Guidelines for residential building in the US, among others. The USGBC misses the point with the latest draft and could miss the chance of a lifetime to end the certification debates, encourage more forest certification globally and give architects and builders the choices they need. These benchmarks are still draft and SFI will be filing comments. I encourage anyone who believes in responsible forestry and green building to do the same. For more details, read SFI’s press statement on the SFI website here and see the draft benchmarks here.

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