ACC, US Green Building Council agree to work together on LEED
13 Sep 2012

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced Aug. 27 that they will be working together on a new initiative that applies science-based approaches to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building program.

Yes, the ACC and USGBC will be working together.

The collaboration surprises many who have watched the two groups and their supporters duke it out for years within the USGBC over chemical disclosures and whether certain plastic products were being discouraged as well as outside the USGBC in several states. Earlier this year in Ohio, the state’s senators voted to ban the latest version of the program — LEED v4 — over a so-called lack of technical standards that could hurt the area’s manufacturers of foam insulation and vinyl products.

So why the seemingly sudden change from contention to cooperation?

All those heated debates turned into some fruitful talks, according to Taryn Holowka, the USGBC’s vice president of marketing and communications.

“ACC and USGBC entered into a constructive discussion about ACC’s concerns with LEEDv4, and in turn [it] led to this groundbreaking agreement to work together to advance LEED around building material use,” Holowka said in an email.

Ann Kolton, the ACC’s vice president of communication, put it this way in a phone interview: “Over time it became apparent something could be gained by combining our expertise in building materials, science and technology, and their expertise in sustainability and green buildings. We really do both have very similar goals. This is an effort to try to bring those unique areas of expertise together and share information and try to develop approaches that are science-based and incorporate life-cycle analysis as well as sustainability.”

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