A year and a half ago the U.S. Green Building Council initiated a new program to allow for the testing of potential new LEED® credits. Titled “LEED Pilot Credit Library,” this collection of pilot credits allows project teams to test potential new credits and work with the USGBC to develop future LEED credits and categories.
Pilot Credit 2: PBT Source Reduction: Dioxins and Halogenated Organic Compounds has been greatly misunderstood and misrepresented by some roofing manufacturers. Some of them have used this credit as a negative promotional tool by misrepresenting the purpose and content of the credit. To receive a point for this credit, the submitter must do the necessary research and provide the results and documentation to USGBC. The research could either support or reject the intent of the credit.
In this credit, it is required that for each alternative product, the submitter must “…conduct and submit a multi-parameter alternative product analysis that includes at a minimum one (1) other product that serves the same function.” The study must also “…include at least 4 parameters (in addition to absence of halogenated materials) associated with the products manufacture or service life . . . used to assess suitability of the product selected.” So the research done must be very extensive and supported with empirical data.
Recent information shows that of the fifty or more submissions for this credit, all have been rejected. The main reason is that no supporting documentation or studies were done to suggest awarding a point either for or against the use of halogenated products (PVC being one). If a credit were to be awarded, it would be through the Innovation category of LEED, not for “non-use” of PVC. If it is determined that there is enough interest and data to consider adding a new credit category, then it would still be necessary to go through the typical public review process prior to being established.
The LEED process for approving new credits is extensive and (hopefully) transparent. By being armed with the facts and understanding how the process works, no one should be able to storm the flight deck and take over the plane.