The United States Green Building council has proposed new standards for the rating system of energy efficient construction and buildings. The new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification includes a stipulation for the avoidance of certain chemicals, however trade groups are arguing that the new green building standards may compromise business, as it will discourage builders from using hundreds of products and materials produced by the plastics, vinyl and chemical industries.
Some of the products that may be affected by the proposed green building guidelines include heat-reflective roofing membranes, PVC piping and foam insulation. However according to the managing director in plastics markets at the American Chemistry Council, one of the primary lobbyists against the new green building legislation, these materials promote the energy efficiency of a green building. Construction builders in safety shoes also champion these materials as green products.
According to the Green Building Council guidelines need to be revisited as the last revision took place in 2009. A vote for green building legislation certification changes was due on 1st June, but after more than 22,000 responses were received by green building builders, architects and engineers during public comment periods, the date was delayed. The green building institute stated that more time was needed to process all the feedback and a fifth round of public comment will commence in October.
A pilot project to determine the effectiveness of certain changes is currently underway. Its objective is to encourage the disclosure of chemical combinations used in materials and to reduce levels of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and other substances. If the pilot test proves to be effective, it will be included in green building legislation, and builders in mens and ladies safety shoes will continue to build structures using the tested guidelines.