The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has begun implementing LEED v4, the latest version of its greenbuilding rating system. LEED guides the design, construction and operation of over 10 billion square feet of commercial and institutional space globally.
Levels of LEED Certification
Approximately 10% of major corporate and ALL federal, state and local government buildings are currently designated LEED certified, silver, gold or platinum, while owners of another 40 to 60% of new and existing buildings strive to be as green as possible using LEED criteria as a guide.
LEED v4 Credit
Manufacturers of products containing PVC can qualify for a new LEED v4 credit: MRc4-Building Product Disclosure and Optimization-Material Ingredients. One qualification method for this credit involves REACH Optimization: End use products and materials that do not contain substances that meet REACH criteria for substances of very high concern. If the product contains no ingredients listed on the REACH Authorization or Candidate list, value at 100% of cost. This credit only applies to projects outside of the USA.
European Adoption of REACH
The European Union enacted the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) Regulation to control potentially hazardous substances. Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) must be identified and disclosed. 155 substances currently on the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) have been authorized by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).