Groups Pushing GSA To Change Green Building Rating System


Industry and lawmakers want the General Services Administration to consider changing its green building standards, Federal Times’ Andy Medici writes.

According to the report, the government is reviewing its green standards, shaping how building greenness will be measured and how to spend federal funding on construction over the next five years.

The government currently relies primarily on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system to score building construction greenness.

The LEED system includes multiple levels and is sometimes supplemented with the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system in other federal agencies.

Suppliers of domestic lumber and PVC piping indicated to Medici that they want GSA to update LEED or abandon it, since the system seems to prefer steel and copper.

LEED also seems to favor use of concrete in government buildings over sustainable wood resources, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mass.) told Medici in his report.

An official from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative told Medici the government should consider using multiple rating systems instead of relying solely on LEED, as well as avoid picking winners and losers in the standard system.

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