News & Opinions
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One Nation Under LEED
Kriston Capps / ARCHITECT / May 29, 2013
Under pressure from industry, some states are turning against using LEED as a building performance rating system.
The Tar Heel State took one step closer to becoming the first state to buck the nation’s most visible building performance ratings system.
By a broad margin, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill in May that will bar the use of LEED for rating public projects. The Protect/Promote N.C. Lumber bill will do exactly that, if passed by North Carolina’s republican-controlled Senate and signed by the state’s republican governor. The timber industry has argued—successfully, so far—that the U.S. Green Building Council’s ubiquitous green rating system disadvantages locally sourced wood.
The LEED system has its own allies in this fight. The Charlotte-based steel company Nucor Corp., for example, benefits from the state’s current policy, which permits cities and counties to offer reduced fees and rebates for LEED-certified construction projects. Nucor—a member of the so-called “toxics lobby” that pushed in 2012 for weaker state-level air standards—continues to lobby state legislators on LEED’s behalf.