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Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Important LEED Changes

US Green Building Council Modifies Documentation Requirements For Credit Pertaining to FSC-Certified Wood


The US Green Building Council’s Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group (MR TAG) recently adopted a number of noteworthy revisions to the way in which the use of FSC certified wood in LEED projects is calculated and documented. These changes will apply to all LEED rating systems, both commercial (e.g. LEED for New Construction and LEED for Commercial Interiors) as well as residential (LEED for Homes). The changes are expected to be posted to the USGBC website in the near future.

The new LEED requirements focus on “vendor” invoices for proof of FSC certification rather than on-product labels or copies of Chain of Custody (COC) certificates. A “vendor” is defined as a company that supplies FSC-certified products to LEED project contractors or subcontractors, but does not itself install the products. The new requirements make clear that, in order for the purchase of FSC certified wood products to count toward earning LEED credit, each “vendor” must hold a valid COC certificate and accurately identify FSC-certified products on their invoices to project contractors and subcontractors.

Importantly, the revised LEED requirements are aligned with the most current FSC COC Standard, FSC-STD-40-004 V2 [see www.fsc.org]. FSC-STD-40-004 supersedes all previous COC standards: all new applicants for FSC COC certification are being assessed against this standard as of January 1, 2008, and all current COC certificate holders will be assessed against this standard from January 1, 2009 onwards. USGBC’s move provides impetus for COC certificate holders that sell into the LEED market to update their procedures to conform with FSC-STD-40-004. Certificate holders who wish to understand and implement the requirements of FSC-STD-40-004 before their 2009 audit should contact their certifier.

The FSC-US website has been updated with all relevant details pertaining to the new LEED requirements. For more information, see:
www.fscus.org/green_building/leed_faq.php