The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that its membership voted to adopt LEED v4, though some associations still voice opposition to the news. The final tally was 86 percent in favor of adopting LEED v4. This includes 90 percent approval from the user category of the voting body, 77 percent approval from the general interest category and 89 percent approval from the producer category. The minimum overall percentage of votes needed for a passing vote was 66.7 percent.

The Vinyl Institute (VI) says buildings are designed to protect human health, minimize impact on the environment, conserve resources and contribute to economic well-being. In a statement released this week the association says, “The language in LEED v4’s Materials and Resources (MR) credits disadvantages or eliminates the use of many modern materials, like PVC based on simplistic, non-consensus programs and certifications that fail to account for comparative life cycle and risk/exposure assessments.” VI adds that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has ignored the overwhelmingly positive evidence regarding the health, safety and performance of the material in its latest version of LEED.

“While the goal of the LEED v4 Materials and Resources credits to encourage the use of products and materials that have environmental, economical and socially preferable lifecycle impacts is admirable, the nuances, and in some places over-simplification of the MR credits could cause the opposite effect,” said VI president and CEO Dick Doyle. “The credits will make it difficult, if not impossible, for manufacturers and suppliers of nearly any building product to provide substantive data to guide architects and designers in the selection of truly sustainable materials.”

Starting this summer, USGBC says it will offer education on LEED v4 in the form of webinar suites, and the full program, along with reference guides, will be unveiled at this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.


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