LEED Ban Lifted in New Military Spending Bill
A two-year halt on spending for LEED Gold and Platinum was called off in the 2014 federal defense authorization act.Congress has lifted its restriction on LEED spending by the U.S. military.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by President Obama on December 26, 2013, does not renew a two-year prohibition on use of Department of Defense (DoD) funds to achieve LEED Gold or Platinum (see “”).
Although there had been an exception for projects that could achieve Gold or Platinum at no additional cost (see “”), the provision was just the tip of a political iceberg involving the timber industry; (R–Mississippi), who introduced the restrictions, suggested the ban stemmed from “the wood wars.” LEED recognizes only the strict Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard for certified wood, a sore point with the mainstream timber industry.
According to Stuart Kaplow, who reported on the change in, such a targeted restriction on LEED may no longer be necessary. That’s because Green Globes, which recognizes the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification favored by vocal forestry lobbyists, .
Additionally, “this is a big deal because the act includes $527 billion in base defense spending for the current fiscal year,” according to Kaplow. Most major renovations and new construction funded by those billions will have to adhere to DoD’s internal regulations, the(UFC), which require third-party verification of sustainable design and construction through an approved rating system. Current UFC wording designates “LEED Silver or equivalent” as the minimum standard, and DoD has historically left the word “equivalent” open to interpretation within each military department (see “ ”).
Published February 3, 2014