Bethesda, Maryland - The US Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) is requesting elimination of two of the new proposed material credits in the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) latest effort to revise its LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 2012 building rating system.
In particular, the Council said it questioned the practicality of a new material resource credit that would measure US products sold in North America by their ability to meet the qualifications set up by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under their REACH programme.
"It is ludicrous that the USGBC expects US manufacturers to comply with a European regulatory programme when companies are selling most of these products into North American building construction markets," said Mark Collatz, ASC's director of government relations, in a 31 May news release.
He added, "We have seen three drafts of USGBC LEED 2012 before the 4th revision, and none of the previous drafts mentioned REACH in any way, shape or form."
ASC blasted USGBC's process for drafting revisions by saying it is "either completely broken or advancing an EU-centric approach to science that does not include any input
The association, which represents adhesive and sealant companies in North America, said that USGBC's process is closed and does not allow for outside input even though the document that is voted on is used by federal, state and local agencies.
ASC said it has also raised a red flag with a "Material Ingredient Listing" credit that would require building material manufacturers to list chemicals identified by the Clean Production Action's Green Screen, which represents a variety of lists of chemicals with no rank of specific priorities of concern. ASC said this list was also developed without industry input.
"This approach would result in building specifiers, who may lack expertise in chemical hazard issues, comparing competing products by the fewest number of chemicals listed. The result could be a less environmentally preferable product," noted Collatz. "That is not a science-based decision making process, and there is no transparency in how the "screen" was developed and inserted into the USGBC LEED draft."