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LEED for Healthcare

On April 8, 2011, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced its latest green building rating system, LEED™ for Healthcare. The rating system guides the design and construction of both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, and can be applied to inpatient, outpatient and licensed long-term care facilities, medical offices, assisted living facilities and medical education and research centers.

FSC-US has received many questions regarding LEED 2009 for Healthcare Materials and Resources Credit 3 requirements for Sustainably Sourced Materials specifically relating to the following statement: “Only virgin wood stock shall contribute towards the certified wood criteria. Note: All wood certification requirements will be updated to reflect the new criteria being put forth for member approval across all LEED rating systems.”

FSC-US has confirmed that the language was not intended to change the scope of the past “FSC” credits and that the term “virgin wood” was intended to mean “not recycled or reused” as before. So an FSC-Mixed credit claim on fiberboard would count for the full product being FSC certified and go towards this point, and an FSC-Mixed x% claim would count the percentage listed towards this point. However, USGBC has also confirmed that FSC certified fiberboard may alternatively constitute as “pre-consumer” (if the fiber is truly pre-consumer) and be counted towards LEED 2009 for Healthcare Materials and Resources Credit 3: Sustainably sources Materials and Products as “Recycled content”. Note that no products can be double counted. This means that FSC certified fiberboard can be counted towards the Materials and Resources Credit 3 criteria for certified wood or recycled content.