Weyerhaeuser is working the forest owners and wood products manufacturers to educate Congress and the federal agencies about the importance of wood in green building standard programs.
Background – The Most Popular Green Building Standard Discriminates Wood Products
- Weyerhaeuser strongly supports green building practices and government efforts to promote the use of energy efficient construction.
- The majority of North American-made wood products are not recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building rating system, the most widely used green building standard in the United States.
- 75% of certified forests in North America are not eligible for LEED’s wood certification credit. LEED builders are turning away reputable certified wood grown in their backyard and purchasing wood from countries whose standards do not measure up to those in the U.S.
- Currently, 30 percent of all of the USGBC’s LEED certifications are sponsored by the U.S. Government. Taxpayers are thus paying for buildings that favor imported wood or steel and concrete, missing the opportunity to support domestic wood products and the jobs in rural America that produce them.
- This bias means that many North American-made wood products are shut out of new U.S. Government construction contracts. Foreign-sourced wood products do not face the same obstacles.
- Over 100 leaders from across the U.S. – including 88 Members of Congress and 13 U.S. Governors – have written to the USGBC urging that LEED reward wood products and recognize all credible forest certification programs, but LEED remains unchanged
- As a renewable resource that sequesters carbon, wood products are a critical component of sound architectural design. Life cycle analysis shows that wood products are an environmentally superior building material compared to other building materials such as steel or concrete with regard to energy conservation, greenhouse gas emission, and pollution.
There are Alternative and More Inclusive Approaches to Green Building
- LEED is not the only credible green building rating system. There are others, including the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system for commercial construction and the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard (NGBS) for residential construction, both of which are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- Green Globes is being used in 35 Federal agency buildings and is recognized by several Federal agencies, including Interior, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs.
- Green Globes and NGBS recognize the benefits of wood from responsibly managed forests, thereby supporting rural communities and domestic jobs.