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

Residents ask court to close pipe maker

November 21, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Residents living by National Pipe & Plastics Inc.'s new factory in an industrial zone of Endicott, N.Y., say the facility has “devastated the...    More

Image

Need for skilled workers is unchanged, but method of finding them has

November 21, 2014 6:00 am ET

It's in the news nearly every day now: “How can manufacturing solve the skilled worker shortage? We need to get young people interested in...    More

Image

Ineos making its UK shale play

November 21, 2014 9:29 am ET

Chemical giant Ineos Group AG is planning to be the biggest player in the United Kingdom's shale gas industry.    More

UK court hearing case of rotomolding worker killed in 280 C oven

November 21, 2014 9:00 am ET

The management at a United Kingdom rotational molding plant are facing criminal charges for the death of a worker who was trapped inside a 280...    More

Image

Thomson Plastics opens N.C. plant

November 20, 2014 3:12 pm ET

Custom injection molder Thomson Plastics Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Lexington, N.C.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

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

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

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