ACC calls green building rating system 'fatally flawed'

Published: June 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Construction, Sustainability, Public Policy, Materials, Suppliers

WASHINGTON (June 26, 12:40 p.m. ET) — The American Chemistry Council called the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Green Building Review “fatally flawed” at a June 25 session to discuss a revised rating systems for federal government use.

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), GSA is required to evaluate green-building certification systems every five years to identify a system “deem(ed) to be most likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally sound approach to certification of green buildings.”

The last review in 2007 resulted in GSA using LEED as the exclusive green building standard system of the federal government. For 2012, GSA commissioned Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to prepare the Green Building Certification System Review, and the June 25 session was held to gather input from the public and key stakeholders, such as the manufacturers of energy efficient building products.

Keith Christman, ACC’s managing director of plastic markets, outlined what Washington-based ACC considers limitations of the GSA report.

According to ACC, the report offers only a cursory examination of the green building rating systems it reviews, including the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program and the International Living Building Institute’s Living Building Challenge (LBC).

Neither program operates in a manner that meets the consensus requirements necessary for the federal government under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), according to ACC.

“No one green building system meets all the federal requirements outlined in EISA. There is no basis for the continued monopoly for LEED within the federal government. GSA should expand its review to consider recommending any consensus standard that meets EISA, including ASHRAE 189.1 and the International Green Construction Code,” Christman said.

“The review merely accepts USGBC’s claim to be consensus-based without critical review. Numerous, substantial stakeholder groups in building and construction, as well as members of Congress, have argued that LEED standards are not consensus-based,” he continued.

Christman pointed out that the GSA review focuses on LEED 2009, not the current LEED [version 4] draft under consideration by USGBC, and that GSA “should not implement a different version of LEED than the one the agency has reviewed.”

“Each change is a new standard. If GSA and DOE want to use a new version of the standard, they would need to conduct a new review,” Christman said.

LEED version 4 has been the subject of concern and criticism from elected officials in Congress and across the country because of its arbitrary restrictions of chemical substances essential to many of the very products that contribute to energy efficiency.


Comments

ACC calls green building rating system 'fatally flawed'

Published: June 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Windmöller & Hölscher looking to continued growth in China

July 21, 2014 3:40 pm ET

With 2013 global sales of 600 million euros, China has grown into an important export market for Windmöller & Hölscher KG, second only to the United...    More

San Antonio launching curbside recycling of plastic bags

July 21, 2014 3:06 pm ET

Curbside plastic bag recycling is coming to one of the largest cities in the country.    More

Image

Grocery store chain says bag recycling up by 10 percent

July 21, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Kroger Co., with more than 2,600 stores in 34 states and sales nearing $100 billion, saw plastic bag recycling increase by 10 percent last year.    More

China launches investments in Belarus

July 21, 2014 10:10 am ET

China is preparing to invest in a major bottle grade PET production project planned by the Belarus PET and polyester fibers producer...    More

Image

Thermoforming Technology Group adds Lyle Industries to its portfolio

July 18, 2014 2:48 pm ET

Thermoforming Technology Group LLC has expanded its thermoforming equipment presence with the acquisition of Lyle Industries Inc.    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events