The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program (LEED) is the most widely recognized green building program in the United States. LEED certifies buildings to different levels of environmental performance - silver, gold, and platinum - based on the number of points a project accrues. Using FSC-certified products is one way to earn points in LEED.
FSC-certified wood construction contributes towards ratings and certifications of the green building rating system while also offering a plethora of other benefits, such as easy sourcing, affordability, aesthetics and higher building values.
If you want to participate in a LEED-certified building project, FSC-certified wood should be at the forefront of your mind.
FSC-Certified Wood and the Road to LEED Certification
As the world’s most trusted forest certification system, FSC ensures that wood products come from forests uniquely managed to keep them healthy and intact, and it is the only forest certification supported by the world’s most trusted environmental organizations.
The Certified Wood Credit in LEED has arguably been the most important driver of forest conservation and sustainability in modern history. It has contributed to tens of millions of acres of improved forest management and has protected both forests and their workers in their community.
While there are multiple credits you can earn, the key credit in LEED v4 you can receive utilizing FSC-certified wood is known as “Building product disclosure and optimization - sourcing of raw materials.” To receive the credit, a project must use products that meet one of several responsible sourcing criteria, including FSC, for at least 20% by cost of the total value of permanently installed building products.
With FSC, your building project can gain the bona fides required to claim climatic and environmental benefits with responsible forest management at the root. Green buildings are the foundation of something bigger: helping people and the communities they reside in.
FSC-certified wood is the most specified green-building product in McGraw-Hill’s entire database of 60,000+ project specifications. There are more than a thousand FSC Chain-of-Custody certified construction product suppliers in the United States alone, and thousands more across the globe, making it easier than ever to build green.
FSC-Certified Wood Is Easily Sourced
FSC wood is now available in a wide variety of lumber grades and species. Depending on the specifications you are looking for, it has never been easier to find a convenient supplier.
To make it effortless, FSC has created a web-searchable database of top FSC building products suppliers, products and sales contacts. You can search by product type, whether it is in stock or available for a 4-week delivery, and even allows results to be displayed by proximity to project location.
Using the FSC sourcing tool, you can find FSC-certified wood that meets the LEED credit requirements of using building materials that have been extracted, harvested or recovered within a specified distance of your project site.
FSC-Certified Wood Is Affordable
FSC-certified local wood products can be comparable or even less expensive than the same non-certified products sold elsewhere. Price is going to depend on market conditions and local demand, but it often smashes the myth that FSC-certified wood will always cost more upfront.
Utilizing FSC-certified wood for your green building project can allow you to manage your budget differently and give you more flexibility in spending on more materials that will increase your chances of earning LEED credits.
Aesthetics Are Deeper Than They’ve Ever Been
There are thousands of FSC-certified wood products and species to pick from to meet your design needs, but more than ever, aesthetics run deeper than they ever have. It’s not just the design of your building that catches eyes: Its sustainability story is what people are going to talk about.
Not only will your building be beautiful, but it will also convey a commitment to doing the right thing, which to the eyes of the world, will make your building more beautiful than ever.
FSC-Certified Wood and LEED Certification Go Hand-in-Hand
Wood can be a high-performance and low environmental-impact construction material, and there are considerable opportunities for gaining wood-related credits under LEED-certified green building programs.
Using FSC-certified wood can help you earn LEED certification while simultaneously offering you budget flexibility, convenient sourcing capabilities and both design and branding aesthetics. You can get started today utilizing FSC-certified wood for your project.