Chemical, insulation, vinyl groups cite dearth of consensus underpinning LEED

Sources: American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

ACC leads 25 building- and construction industry-linked groups, plus the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, behind the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition (AHPBC). Geared to promoting and supporting development of sustainable building standards based on consensus and scientific performance data, the Coalition was announced shortly after ACC challenged the U.S. Green Building Council over an “Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern” section and other proposals for the forthcoming LEED v4 rating system.

“As energy efficiency and building performance become increasingly important priorities for the public and private sectors, green building standards and rating systems should be based on the best available data, gathered from a range of stakeholders with relevant expertise,” says ACC Vice President of Plastics Steve Russell. “This coalition [of] leaders in manufacturing, material science and building performance will bring needed perspectives to this important work. The coalition will advocate for performance- and consensus-based standards for green building, which are the best way to achieve exceptional energy-efficiency.”

The coalition will provide critical experience and expertise to the development of green building standards, he adds, and support performance-based building codes, standards and rating systems developed in conformance with the American National Standards Institute, the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system. ANSI-accredited systems recognize transparency, balance of interests represented and consensus decision-making.

The Coalition arrives as the U.S. General Services Administration reviews the federal agencies’ use of green building standards, including the LEED rating system. AHPBC supports certification systems based on sound data, scientific methodology and developed using a consensus process, group officials contend, and will advocate that position with GSA, other federal agencies and in other venues where green building certifications are under consideration.

“The business community is actively engaging to develop and support green building standards through transparent and consensus-based processes. We believe this is the best way to create high-performing buildings that are energy efficient and practical,” says Stephen Eule, vice president for climate & technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. “[We are] pleased to be part of this important coalition to advocate for sustainable building using science-, performance- and consensus-based standards.” —