This blog is originally posted on USGBC’s LEED article website.
SFI shares tips on how to how to earn LEED points with certified wood.

What is an ACP?

An Alternative Compliance Path allows LEED projects to achieve an existing green building credit, using an alternative approach to what is specified in the existing rating tool. Pilot ACPs are used to test new ideas before they are fully integrated into the LEED rating systems.

The Certified Wood pilot ACP

Builders and architects can use wood and paper products certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards to achieve a point in the Certified Wood Pilot ACP under LEED 2009 and achieve a point in the Sourcing of Raw Materials Pilot ACP under LEED v4.

Eligibility for LEED points

In order to achieve a LEED point, the user must know that

  • 100% of the forest products are from legal (noncontroversial) sources.
  • 70% are from responsible sources.
  • The remainder must be certified sources as evidenced by a chain-of-custody (CoC) certification.

SFI Fiber Sourcing certification counts as legal and responsible, while forest products delivered through SFI, FSC or PEFC CoC certification count as legal, responsible and certified sources.

The Alternative Compliance Path applies to all LEED v4 and LEED 2009 systems, including Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M), Neighborhood Development (ND) and Homes (under LEED v4).

Tips for product manufacturers using SFI

  • Label your products with the SFI logo to help make it easy for architects and builders to identify that the wood or paper is certified to the SFI standard and eligible to earn a LEED point.
  • If you are an SFI Chain-of-Custody certificate holder, you can communicate that your wood or paper products can contribute to a point in the “certified wood” credit under LEED 2009 as well as in the “sourcing of raw materials” credit under LEED v4. For SFI Fiber Sourcing certificate holders, communicate that your wood or paper products count in both the legal and responsible sources categories.

Tips for project teams using SFI

Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) are eligible for the ACP. This means using furniture, wood and paper products certified to SFI can help you achieve points in the “ongoing purchasing and renovations” credits in LEED v4. The ACP can also help you achieve points in the “sustainable purchasing credits” in LEED 2009 if you use furniture, wood and paper products certified to SFI.

Learn more about how to count and calculate your LEED points with SFI and the ACP.