Dealers frustrated by government agencies’ seeming enchantment with the LEED green certification system have reason to relax. The General Services Administration (GSA)—the federal agency responsible for managing most non-military government buildings nationwide—has given a potential stamp of approval to not only LEED but also to two other green-building certification systems: the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.
GSA’s love of LEED bothered dealers in large part because LEED gives points for green-certified wood only if that certificate came from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Much of the wood that dealers sell is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or by groups that specialize in wood harvested from Canada or Europe. Most green building certification programs, including Green Globes, recognize FSC and those other certifiers.
GSA is conducting a series of hearings and plans by this fall to issue final recommendations. If it recommends more than one system, each federal project can decide which green building system it wants to use.