Contact: Kathryn St. John (202) 249-6513  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 9, 2012) - Appealing to the General Services Administration (GSA) to immediately reconsider their recommendation of green building rating systems, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today voiced strong concerns about product and materials restrictions in the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED 2012 proposal.

"Because of the  essential role chemistry plays in advancing energy efficiency and sustainability in the building and construction sector , ACC is greatly concerned that the proposed LEED 2012 rating system will arbitrarily limit important products such as high-tech plastic insulations, reflective roofing membranes and solar panels, and as a result, hurt American manufacturing jobs and drive up taxpayers' costs," said Cal Dooley , ACC President and CEO.

In official comments today to GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee, ACC questioned whether GSA should be recommending green building rating systems that fail to meet true consensus requirements, which include openness, diverse stakeholder input, detailed feedback and an appeal process. ACC has been a supporter of the energy and water efficiency aspects of LEED, and the association's offices are in LEED-certified buildings, as are many of ACC's members companies' facilities.

Dooley noted, however, that LEED may be straying from its fundamental energy efficiency mission. "By proposing material credits for avoiding an arbitrary list of nearly a thousand chemicals, LEED 2012 will have the detrimental effect of reducing the use of the very materials needed to achieve real gains in energy efficiency," he said. Building products that would be avoided based on this credit include all plastic insulation, Energy Star vinyl windows, bullet and blast resistant polycarbonate glazing, wind turbines and the reflective roofing used on the Department of Energy's headquarters. 

USGBC has indicated that balloting on the LEED 2012 proposal will begin on June 1.


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