Washington, DC – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on April 22 ruled that Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified bamboo plywood and flooring can now be included in calculations under Credit MRc7: Certified Wood, for projects seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
The ruling followed a credit interpretation request (CIR) submitted by a project team who specified Smith & Fong’s Plyboo® FSC-certified bamboo flooring for a multi-use project in North Carolina. After reviewing the CIR the USGBC determined the bamboo products specified for the project had been harvested and sourced by a supplier that possessed the necessary and current certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the CIR was consistent with the credit intent to, “encourage environmentally responsible forest management.”
The CIR review concluded that bamboo is often used in many of the same applications as wood products, and is considered by the FSC to be a forest product despite its technical classification as a grass. Going forward FSC-certified bamboo building products (flooring, plywood, veneers) will be recognized within LEED’s MRc7 Credit.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the USGBC’s ruling,” Smith & Fong president and founder Dan Smith said. “To be recognized by LEED provides the ultimate validation for all the years of work we undertook to prove the sustainability of bamboo as a building material.”
Smith & Fong received certification for its bamboo resources—the world’s first non-wood product certified in accordance with the FSC’s guidelines—in April 2008. The company’s certified Plyboo products qualify for the FSC Pure designation, as they are 100-percent FSC material from an FSC-certified forest and have been sold and/or processed by an FSC chain-of-custody certified company. Smith & Fong’s sources use no irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers in growing their bamboo.
The exact wording of the USGBC’s CIR ruling can be found here: http://www.usgbc.org/LEED/Credit/CIRMain.aspx?VID=2
. Access to the CIR pages requires a username and password.