Giving credit for certified products
A new credit in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system could boost the use of third-party verified products in green building projects.
The Certified Products credit, which was released in June and is in its pilot stage, gives points to projects in which at least 10 percent of non-structural products have third-party verified environmental claims, are certified to third-party verified performance standards, or have a verified lifecycle assessment report or Environmental Product Declaration.
“There’s a focus on performance and transparency,” said Chris Nelson, director of commercial development for UL Environment, which provides both product certification and environmental clams validation. Products that have received certification or validation by UL Environment count towards the credit, as do products certified by UL Environment’s affiliate program, EcoLogo. Other eligible certification programs include Cradle to Cradle and GreenSeal, Nelson said.
The new credit would provide a way to recognize legitimate programs and products, Nelson said.
The credit could be a boon to both manufacturers of certified and verified products and to certifiers themselves, if it encourages more product-makers to seek out third-party certification and verification services.
It would also give architects a reference to find recognized products, Nelson said. Non-structural products that could count towards the credit include insulation, heating and cooling systems, carpet, gypsum board and office furniture.
Of course, navigating the world of product certifications can be confusing. To help LEED project teams make sense of the credit, UL Environment is hosting a free webinar on June 28.