US NGO publishes GreenScreen guidance for building professionals
UNITED STATES, November 5, 2015--
NGO, Clean Production Action, has published guidance on how to use its chemicals assessment tool, GreenScreen®, to meet criteria under the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) certification programme, Leed v4.
The latest edition of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (Leed v4) awards up to two points for meeting certain material ingredient criteria. One credit is awarded for disclosure of chemical ingredients, and another for avoiding chemicals of high concern in building materials (GBB September 2015).
Leed details several pathways to achieving credits, including through the use of GreenScreen®, Health Product Declarations, Cradle to Cradle and other USGBC-approved programmes. Points earned contribute towards a building project's Leed certification level, within the green building scheme.
According to CPA, “there has been a steep learning curve for both manufacturers and Leed practitioners, who are scrambling to keep current with the rating system and its approach to inherently safer materials, through the new material ingredient disclosure and optimisation credits.”
The CPA guidance outlines steps for achieving the new credits, via the use of the GreenScreen® tool. These include:
- identifying chemicals that meet declarable thresholds, under Leed v4;
- using GreenScreen to identify and declare hazards, associated with those substances;
- reporting the necessary documentation to receive credits; and
- earning certification to more readily communicate that a product meets Leed's criteria.
According to Mark Rossi, executive director of CPA, “GreenScreen is helping to clarify the world of chemicals in building products, where disclosure is largely absent and knowledge of hazardous and safer chemicals is unknown.”
The Leed 2009 rating system – the prior edition to Leed v4 – had been due to close to new project registrations by mid-2015. However, last year, the USGBC extended the period to the end of October 2016.
A November 2014 survey, conducted by the USGBC, said that 61% of respondents were “not ready” or “unsure” if they could yet pursue projects under the new Leed v4 standard.