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 Construction, Sustainability, Public Policy, United States, Building/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

Major packaging merger includes plastics operations

January 26, 2015 12:24 pm ET

A merger of packaging companies MeadWestvaco Corp. and Rock-Tenn Inc. will create a new company with nearly $16 billion in annual sales.    More

Image

MonoSol optimistic it can reach new markets with water soluble films

January 26, 2015 4:46 pm ET

MonoSol LLC — riding a wave of growth spurred on by the rapid adoption of water soluble detergent packets in recent years — is looking to ...    More

Image

Auto industry on the hunt for new lightweight materials

January 26, 2015 4:03 pm ET

The auto industry is focusing on lightweighting, and this is igniting a race to find new materials that can meet ever-changing performance needs of...    More

Image

SPE toy donation rolls into 15th year

January 26, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Continuing its holiday tradition, the Detroit section of the Society of Plastics Engineers donated more than 30,000 toys to Detroit-area charities in ...    More

Image

Continental builds low-emission interior trim factory in China

January 26, 2015 12:33 pm ET

Benecke-Kaliko AG is making the largest investment in its history to build an environmentally friendly auto interior trim plant in China, prompted by ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

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 Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

More Events