[Washington, DC] -
The Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) applauds the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) issuance of a new LEED pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) for sustainable forest management certifications. The move means that wood products with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Program certification are qualified for credit in both LEED 2009 and LEED v4 systems. The ACP also recognizes the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and other programs endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The USGBC announced the new ACP this week as part of their quarterly addenda to the LEED green building rating system.
In its announcement the USGBC stated the intent of the ACP is to further advance environmentally responsible forest management and also better prevent the use of illegal wood in construction. WDMA and other industry interests actively urged the USGBC to specifically include these certifications, in addition to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, as qualified for LEED credit in the development LEED v4 because they too foster responsible wood sourcing and chain of custody.
"The recognition of SFI and other credible certifications by the USGBC in addition to FSC as qualified for LEED credit is a position we've long advocated," said Michael O'Brien, president and CEO of WDMA. "We believe USGBC's issuance of this ACP better promotes environmentally sound forest management practices and we fully support it."
Currently, the LEED green building certification system is the world's most widely used program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. According to the USGBC there are nearly 75,000 commercial projects participating in LEED around the world. Given the significant continued growth in green building, the new ACP is a welcome addition to LEED rating systems. Wood certifications recognized under the new ACP are already recognized by other green building rating systems including the ANSI/ICC-700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes®.