Last week the U.S. Green Building Council announced in a press release a new pilot credit related to wood. The new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit is designed to help eliminate irresponsibly sourced materials from the building material supply chain, such as illegal wood.
USGBC says the credit is to “further advance environmentally responsible forest management” and to reduce the use of illegal wood in buildings by “promoting the use of wood that is verified to be legal.” Builders and developers can now earn credit after verifying the legality of the wood which is certified by organizations such as the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC’s CEO and founding chair said, “This focus of the green building industry on the various wood certification standards has produced measurable progress… With the pilot ACP, we are increasing the scope of LEED related to wood with an eye toward possibly applying what we learn to other industries. Beyond this credit, LEED v4 takes steps to reward progress related to all raw materials sourcing issues and encourage all sectors to continue to improve.”
This new pilot ACP will be applicable to LEED 2009 and LEED v4 systems. LEED projects previously were awarded credit for only a percentage of wood used in a project, not the total. This made it possible for a building to earn the LEED wood credit, even though illegal wood might have been used in its construction.