Coalition Formed to Combat Anti-Vinyl Bias in LEED Ratings

July 19, 2012

More than 27 leading associations, including the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association, have formed the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition. Formed in response to continued movement within the U.S. Green Building Council to discourage the use of vinyl in buildings, the coalition will work "to promote and support the development of sustainable building standards, which are based on consensus and scientific performance data."

 The new coalition's website

The coalition announcement comes as the U.S. General Services Administration is in the process of reviewing the use of green building standards by the federal government and USGBC revises its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. The AHPBC supports certification systems based on sound data, scientific methodology and developed using a consensus process. The coalition will advocate that position with GSA, other federal agencies and in other venues where green building certifications are under consideration, officials state.

“As energy efficiency and building performance become increasingly important priorities for the public and private sectors, green building standards and rating systems should be based on the best available data, gathered from a range of stakeholder with relevant expertise," says Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. "This coalition brings together industry leaders with an incredible range relevant expertise in manufacturing, material science and building performance, who will work to bring needed perspectives to this important work. The coalition will advocate for performance- and consensus-based standards for green building, which are the best way to achieve exceptional energy-efficiency.”

“The business community is actively engaging to develop and support green building standards through transparent and consensus-based processes," adds Stephen Eule, VP for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. "We believe this is the best way to create high-performing buildings that are energy efficient and practical to implement. The U.S. Chamber is pleased to be part of this important coalition to advocate for sustainable building using science, performance and consensus-based standards.”

“Vinyl products have a proven role in making homes and buildings energy efficient and conserving resources," notes Richard Doyle, Vinyl Institute president and CEO. "In order for the green building movement to evolve, it is critical for standards and rating systems to encourage the use of products with the strongest life-cycle profiles, since these products will contribute most to building performance.”

“Manufacturers have led the way in innovating technologies and solutions to improve energy efficiency and keep energy affordable," says Chip Yost, National Association of Manufacturers assistant vice president of energy and resources policy. "With buildings using approximately 40 percent of the energy in the United States, green standards play an important role in the manufacturing of energy-efficient products. It is important that organizations setting the standards use a consensus-based and transparent process, grounded in good science.”

The coalition says it will provide critical experience and expertise to the development of green building standards, and will support performance-based building codes, standards and rating systems developed in conformance with the American National Standards Institute. ANSI-accredited organizations are said to recognize transparency, balance of interests represented and consensus decision-making.

In addition to AAMA and WDMA, other members of the coalition include the American Chemistry Council, the Adhesive and Sealant Council, the American Coatings Association, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the American Supply Association, the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association, the EPDM Roofing Association, the Expanded Polystyrene Industry Alliance, the Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association, the Flexible Vinyl Alliance, the Industrial Minerals Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, the Plastic Pipe & Fittings Association, the Polyisocyanurate Manufactures Association, the Resilient Floor Covering Institute, the Society of Plastic Industry, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, the Southern Forest Products Association, the Treated Wood Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Vinyl Institute and the Vinyl Siding Institute.