FSC Certification and its Role in Green Buildings
FSC certification ensures that wood products come from responsibly managed forests, which can help reduce the negative impacts of forestry on the environment and local communities. This can be particularly important in the construction industry, where wood is a commonly used material. By using FSC-certified wood, builders can ensure that the wood they use is sourced sustainably and can contribute towards their green building certification.
Green building certification programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) often require the use of FSC-certified products. These certifications recognize buildings that are designed and constructed with environmental sustainability in mind, and FSC certification is an important part of this process.
Why is the use of FSC-certified products important in green buildings?
For starters, FSC-certified products are sustainably sourced, which means that they come from forests that are managed in a way that protects the environment, wildlife, and local communities. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of the building and supports responsible forest management.
In addition, FSC-certified products can contribute to the health and well-being of building occupants. Many FSC-certified products are low-emitting, which means that they release fewer harmful chemicals into the air. This can improve indoor air quality and create a healthier environment for building occupants.
Also, the use of FSC-certified products can help to promote sustainability and responsible sourcing practices throughout the building industry. By choosing FSC-certified products, architects, designers, and builders can help to create a market demand for sustainably sourced materials and encourage more responsible forest management practices.
How FSC certification can contribute towards earning points at LEED and BREEAM?
For LEED, FSC certification can contribute towards earning points in several different categories, including Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design.
In the Materials and Resources category, buildings can earn up to two points for using FSC-certified wood in at least 50% of wood-based materials. In the Indoor Environmental Quality category, buildings can earn one point for using low-emitting materials, including FSC-certified wood, in at least 50% of the building materials.
Finally, buildings can earn one point in the Innovation in Design category by using FSC-certified wood in innovative ways that promote sustainable building practices.
In the BREEAM certification, FSC certification can contribute towards earning points in the Materials category. The timber responsible credit is given when the project team can demonstrate that they have made a significant effort to source timber responsibly. The credit rewards the use of verified legal and sustainable timber, including FSC-certified wood.
Projects can earn one credit for using at least 75% FSC-certified wood products based on the total cost of materials used in the project. Alternatively, projects can earn half a credit for using at least 50% FSC-certified wood products.
In addition, BREEAM also provides additional credits for using other types of responsibly sourced materials, such as responsibly sourced steel and concrete. Using these materials in combination with FSC-certified wood can help contribute towards earning more credits and achieving a higher overall BREEAM rating.