The trade journal Federal Times reports that the GSA primarily relies on the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system to score building construction greenness. The GSA currently requires that all of the federal buildings it constructs be LEED Gold certified.
However, the GSA is being pressured by several lawmakers to either update the LEED standards or abandon them. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., chairman of the House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, has also weighed in, stating that it was inappropriate for the government to rely primarily on one rating system. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., also called for an alternative to LEED, saying it unfairly favored steel and concrete materials over U.S.-harvested sustainable wood in construction and renovation projects.
From the private sector, the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association is arguing that a current LEED proposal would encourage construction companies to cease using PVC pipes, while the Hardwood Federation has urged the GSA to consider the environmental factors involved in mineral and metal extraction versus wood construction materials.
(Photo courtesy of USPS)