EDC November 2012 : Page 79

CEU CONTINUING EDUCA TION UNIT Forest Product Certification, Sustainability and Today’s Building Markets OBTAINING PRODUCTS FROM PROPERLY MANAGED FORESTS PLAYS AN INTEGRAL ROLE IN A SUSTAINABLE BUILT ENVIRONMENT. By Jason Grant and C.C. Sullivan Sponsored by The last couple of decades have seen remarkable progress toward the greening of the forest products industry and of the building industry. Not surpris-ingly, the two trends are linked, and not only because the latter encourages the former. In both cases, voluntary stan-dards and certification have been instru-mental in driving market transformation to sustainability. THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP STANDARDS In fact, the broad adoption of leader-ship standards has been essential to the growth of green building that we see today. The influence of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is an instructive example. By establish-ing LEED as the gold standard in green building, the USGBC has brought into the mainstream high-performance building practices and materials. LEARNING OBJECTIVES Reading this article provides professional education in green building, including Sustainable Design (SD) and Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) credits. Upon finishing, the reader should be able to: Describe what a leadership standard is and how it relates to green building certification. (SD, HSW) List typical requirements of forest management and chain-of-custody in the forest product certification process. (SD, HSW) Discuss how to achieve the LEED credits for environmentally preferable wood and wood products. (SD, HSW) Explain techniques for ensuring that wood used for green building projects is from certified sources. (SD, HSW) EDUCATION PROVIDER EDC is a registered provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems. To earn 1.0 AIA-HSW-SD learning unit, attendees must read this article in its entirety and take the 10-question quiz at the end of the article or online at http://cecampus.bnpmedia.com and pass with a score of 80 percent or better. EDC is also a USGBC Education Provider; this course is approved by USGBC for 1 GBCI CE Hour toward LEED Professional credentialing maintenance. LEED Professionals may submit their hours to Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) under the “Professional Development/Continuing Education” activity type in “My credentials” at www.gbci.org. For those who pass the quiz with a minimum score of 80 percent, a certificate of completion will be available for immediate download. Part of its success has been achieved through earning the support of both design professionals and environmental experts, based on its commitment to science-based principles, criteria and market transforma-tion to sustainability. LEED itself is a leadership standard, so it is appropriate that a number of leadership reference standards appear throughout the family of rating systems. An example is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), widely regarded as the leading certification program for respon-sible forest management. FSC meets the intent of LEED’s Certified Wood credit— LEED 2009’s Materials & Resources (MR) section, Credit 7: Certified Wood—to identify and reward “exemplary environ-mentally and socially responsible forest management.” Through forest manage-ment certification, FSC ensures that forestry operations meet high environ-mental and social standards. Through chain-of-custody (CoC) certification, FSC ensures that certified wood is properly tracked and accounted for throughout the supply chain. FSC represents a comprehensive, high-bar standard for forest management and conservation, says environmentalists and practitioners such as Russell Perry, FAIA, LEED AP, co-director of corporate sustain-able design efforts for the architecture/ engineering firm SmithGroupJJR. “At the moment, it’s the most rigorous standard for wood and the leadership standard in the industry,” he says. “Of the many character-istics that make it so, the most important to me are that it is best-in-class, its process is transparent and it is third-party verified.” FSC certification has been endorsed by other architects as well as green building groups, forestry experts, building owners and environmental groups. Many in the green building and conservation commu-nity point to it as a way to distinguish green forestry from mere greenwash. These experts also advise that leader-ship standards like LEED and FSC are among the most important drivers toward greater sustainability. Yet there are other types of recognition or documentation in the building materials industry that are not considered “leadership standards.” What’s the difference? CHARACTERISTICS OF LEADERSHIP STANDARDS According to a “statement of consensus” published earlier this year and signed by nonprofit groups like the World Wildlife Fund along with a couple dozen AEC com-www.edcmag.com 79

CEU: Forest Product Certification

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