Proposed LEED Changes to Impact Vinyl Window Industry

By Eric Jackson, Quanex Building Products
May 22, 2012
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards, Materials & Components

Once again the United States Green Building Council is attacking the vinyl window industry as it proposes changes to its LEED rating system. In November 2011, USGBC proposed changes for 2012 (currently on revision 4) that added a new Disclosure and Avoidance point category that refers to a list of "Chemicals of Concern," which include many common materials in building products, such as PVC.

To put it simply, if you disclose the use of PVC or avoid using PVC you will receive additional points. This is not the first time USGBC has declared war on PVC and will not likely be the last.  The Vinyl Institute and the American Chemicals Council have pushed back, however, and drawn attention to the General Services Administration for its involvement with USGBC and support of LEED. In fact, a GSA employee sits on the USGBC board of directors, and as much as 9 percent of USGBC funding comes directly from GSA.

Quanex Building has been actively working to organize members of Congress to take action and support our industry, including Representative Robert Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio). In the meantime the House Science, Space and Technology Committee has been investigating the entanglement between GSA and USGBC and evaluating rating systems for green buildings. As we learn more about actions being taken we will let you know how you can help protect our industry.

Eric Jackson is Director of External Affairs for Quanex Building Products, the Houston-based supplier of components and systems for windows and doors. He welcomes questions or comments and can be contacted at or 216/650-9791.

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