Ohio Senators Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) have submitted a resolution in the state senate to ban the LEED rating system in public construction projects. Both senators claim that the current LEED system does not follow the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) procedures and therefore, should not be used as the state-wide ratings guide for public building standards.
Image Credit @ Jessica Rubenstein
Although the recent initiative in Ohio is somewhat puzzling considering the buckeye state has more LEED-certified schools than any other state in the US, this is a not a new battle for the USGBC, the non-profit organization that runs the LEED system. Recently, the organization has faced similar battles in North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Georgia. However, the point of contention for these southern states was the use of timber in the LEED system.
In Ohio’s case, the problem is mainly chemical in nature, with a consortium of chemical companies lobbying against the latest update of the system, LEED v4 (LEED 2012), which included a major overhaul on green building materials and stringent enforcement policies regarding chemical transparency. Specifically, the updated version includes the Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern credit for the use of non-vinyl chloride materials. Many vinyls contain phthalates, a dangerous toxin that is thought to cause cancer and other health problems.
Unlike previous states that have not taken on the LEED system directly, the Ohio resolution (SCR 25) directly confronts LEED v4 by proposing that any Ohio state agency or government entity should be prohibited from using it while the Ohio Office of Energy Services begins to review alternative rating systems for building materials used in public projects.
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