Ohio legislators look to ditch new green building standards

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: March 12, 2014 11:51 am ET
Updated: March 12, 2014 11:55 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, United States, Building/construction, Construction, Deck & railing, Vinyl fencing, Vinyl siding, Windows & doors

WASHINGTON — The Ohio state legislature could soon vote to ditch the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED v4 green building standards.

A resolution penned last year by Sens. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) encourages the state government to stop using USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building practices when constructing anything with Ohio’s taxpayer dollars, from schools to offices.

The measure was passed by the Senate and now heads to the House, though a vote is not yet scheduled in the second chamber.

The non-biding resolution urges but does not require the state to use a different green building standard because the “LEED v4 green building system fails to conform to recognized voluntary standard development procedures, including but not limited to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) procedures, and fails to base environmental and health criteria on risk assessment methodology,” echoing the complaints many in the plastics industry have voiced on the new LEED v4 standards since before they were introduced last year.

The latest LEED standards include a credit that rewards builders for using certain materials. If a company uses materials that are not on the list, such as foam insulation or vinyl, the project will not earn the points needed to become LEED certified as easily.

Sen. Uecker has said part of the reason he introduced the resolution was because the LEED v4 credits have the potential to isolate certain products, such as vinyl windows, which would isolate an entire industry as undesirable for new construction, which will ultimately cost jobs.

Allen Blakey, vice president for industry and government affairs at the Vinyl Institute in Arlington, Va., is also concerned about the credit and the way the latest version of LEED was designed.

“The material credit is threatening to our material, vinyl, and others,” Blakey said. “We didn’t have a chance to have any meaningful input into that credit.”

The plastics industry and USGBC are at least in agreement on that.

“There’s no question that more member of the chemical and plastic industry could have been involved earlier,” said Jeremy Sigmon, USGBC’s director of technical policy. The green building non-profit is talking with the chemical and plastics industries now, he said, and there will be more back and forth before the next version of LEED standards is released—whenever that may be.

But for now, Sigmon and USGBC see the Uecker resolution in Ohio as “the national chemical lobby taking its aggressive action to the states.”

If LEED was impeding economic growth or job development, Sigmon said, USGBC would be the first to try to fix that. But with major retailers Walmart and Target requiring verifiable chemical and content information from manufactures about products sold on their shelves, the global market is favoring material transparency, he said.

“LEED 4 offers voluntary credits rewarding material transparency,” Sigmon said. “It’s fair to say that… some views of some commenters were not in the majority but that how consensus works. The reality is that the market is already moving that way.”


Comments

Ohio legislators look to ditch new green building standards

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: March 12, 2014 11:51 am ET
Updated: March 12, 2014 11:55 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Italian compounder opening first US plant

October 30, 2014 9:45 am ET

The song of the South has led Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group to open its first plant in the United States in Lebanon, Tenn.    More

Image

Five-axis flexibility paying off for Sepro and its customers

October 29, 2014 1:47 pm ET

French robot maker Sepro Robotique expects to generate 78 million euros ($99 million) in 2014 sales — 17 percent more than 2013 — as...    More

Image

Schütz investing $20 million for bulk container production in Missouri

October 29, 2014 11:18 am ET

German packaging company Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA is expanding its presence in the United States through a $20 million project in Missouri slated to...    More

Image

DSM picks Augusta, Ga., for nylon plant

October 29, 2014 11:49 am ET

Materials firm Royal DSM NV has chosen Augusta, Ga., as the site of its new North American nylon resin plant.    More

Image

Detroit Manufacturing Systems to hire 200 for F-150 production

October 29, 2014 10:40 am ET

Interior trim supplier Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC plans to hire 200 assembly workers by January to support production growth of Ford Motor Co.'...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events