Chemical makers are bristling at proposed green building standards that they feel unfairly target their products.
Major business groups are lobbying lawmakers to take a look at the proposed standards from the U.S. Green Building Council, warning jobs will be lost if they are embraced by the federal government.
Keith Christman, managing director for plastic markets at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), said manufacturers and suppliers could take a hit if the General Services Administration (GSA) uses the council’s revised standards to certify federal offices as having “gone green.”
“GSA has in effect established a monopoly for the U.S. Green Building Council,” Christman said. “Now, the Green Building Council has had a dramatic departure from encouraging people to make energy-efficient buildings to encouraging them to avoid materials that are used in energy-efficient buildings.”
At issue are proposed changes to the council’s green building standards, known as LEED 2012 or LEED v4. Companies in the chemical industry argue the new standards will encourage builders to avoid certain materials — some of which go into roofing, piping and vinyl siding — to earn a green building certification.
Christman said jobs are at stake.
“Clearly, the building construction sector is very fragile today,” he said. “These standards would cause people to avoid these materials, create uncertainty in the market and affect the makers of these materials used in energy-efficient buildings.”