Thompson Applauds Announcement by U.S. Green Building Council

Decision Encourages Domestic Wood Use in Building Construction

WASHINGTON, D.C .– U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) has applauded the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for making changes to their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.

The long overdue change will encourage more wood use in building construction.  That includes lumber companies certified by the American Tree Farm System and landowners certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council.

“For a state which was founded as ‘Penn’s Woods,’ this is wonderful news,” said Thompson.  “Wood is the ultimate green building material.  This decision will provide a boost to companies across the state involved in the wood industry.”

While the U.S. Green Building Council is a private sector standard, much of the federal government uses the LEED rating system or the alternative, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system.

“It’s beyond comprehension that any building construction standard would broadly exclude natural wood products when choosing materials,” Thompson added.  “This eliminates barriers to the federal government choosing wood when working through the LEED system.”

Thompson previously authored H.R.979, the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013 to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) definition of “bio-based products” to specifically include forest products.  Prior to the provisions of the bill becoming law in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA had categorically excluded forest products from being recognized as “bio-based.”

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