In June, during this year’s NeoCon, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Pilot Credit 43, which applies to all Building Design and Construction and Interiors Design and Construction LEED rating systems.
The pilot credit supports LEED’s objective of encouraging building and facility managers to implement measurable green building goals as they specifically relate to maintenance and furnishings.
LEED Pilot Credit 43 promotes the use of non-structural products, with known life cycles in LEED buildings, in order to set the foundation for continuous improvement.
For the first time, the USGBC recognized several third-party certifiers, which validate the sustainable attributes and proclamations stated by manufacturers’ about their products. Many of the methods of earning LEED Pilot Credit 43 revolve around the use of third-party certification.
According to Steve Brewster, Operations Program Manager for Kimball Office, there are two paths available to earn the pilot credit. The simpler of the two is to identify and use products certified by a third-party certifier recognized in the pilot credit. Both Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Indoor Advantage and American National Standards Institute/Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (ANSI/BIFMA) level are included in the pilot credit; therefore, products certified by these programs meet the credit requirement.
The second path requires the project team to prove that a manufacturer has provided public life cycle information on the product(s). The standard allows a manufacturer to self-declare Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) results, however, specifies that the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory database (USLCI) be used in conjunction with minimum scope and boundaries for the LCA.
For a project team, it can be more difficult to know if a self-declaring manufacturer has met the required guidelines for LCA. “With either path, a minimum of 10 percent of the dollar value of installed, non-structural products and materials must meet the approved certifications or LCA criteria listed within the pilot credit,” added Brewster.
Georgy Olivieri, Director of Architecture, Design and Sustainable Strategies believes that because Pilot Credit 43 offers credit towards LEED certification, many Government Service Administration (GSA) facilities will be interested in how it helps meet green building expectations. In 2009, when President Barack Obama signed Federal Executive Order 13514 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance), he set new federal agency goals in areas such as accountability and transparency, strategic sustainability performance planning, greenhouse gas management, sustainable buildings and communities, and pollution prevention and waste reduction.
With the GSA managing more than 370 million square feet of workspace, nearly all of which are following LEED certification guidelines, achieving LEED Pilot Credit 43 can help provide government agencies with proof of compliance to EO 13514.
LEED Pilot Credit 43 helps organizations validate the environmental statements made by manufacturers about their products. In some cases, these statements revolve not just around the individual product, but also the manufacturing process.
“Through the recognition of various third-party certifiers, this pilot credit can verify and document whether or not a manufacturer is taking a holistic approach towards sustainability,” added Olivieri.
For more information on the pilot credit, visit the LEED Pilot Library.