Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

North Carolina bill would ban green rating systems that put state lumber industry at disadvantage

by Brent Sauser

It appears more resistance is brewing within the United States over the anticipated release of LEED version 4.0 from the USGBC.  Ratification of the new LEED guidelines has been delayed for over a year with the hope for complete implementation in November 2013.  However, several States are chiming in with legislation and litigation regarding the degree of exclusivity with LEED v 4.0.  Many chemical companies are crying foul, as well as other lumber providers for the possibility of being excluded from the significantly raised “bar” of LEED v4.0.  Businesses and jobs are potentially at stake.  Not only has litigation resulted, but legislation has been, or is being introduced to block usage of the soon-to-be approved LEED v4.0 guidelines.  The following article from the Building Design + Construction periodical (dated April 24, 2013) is evidence of opposition fervor:

lumber truck“North Carolina lawmakers have introduced state legislation that would restrict the use of national green building rating programs, including LEED, on public projects.

House Bill 628 would insert new language in a section of state law that calls for energy- and water-use standards for major public facility construction and renovations. The bill says those projects may use a “nationally recognized high performance environmental building rating system” if that green building program doesn’t use a credit system “disadvantaging materials or products manufactured or produced” in North Carolina.

The bill requires the rating program to award points to wood certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the American Tree Farm System—programs that are not eligible for LEED points.”

Net Zero design is compatible in all States and does not threaten businesses or jobs.  There is no “bar” to raise with Net Zero.  Either you are Net Zero or not.  It is easy to measure.  Additions or modifications can be provided if needed or desired to achieve Net Zero.  Net Zero is supportive and sympathetic to the implementation of as many “green” materials, methods, and systems as possible, but recognizes the fundamental priority is to become power independent from any outside source.

For more information regarding issues with LEED v4.0 please click on the following articles:


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