USDA Promotes Wood in “Green Building”

In a March 30 speech at an “International Year of Forests” celebration, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack explicitly endorsed the use of wood as a green building material, outlining a three-part “plan,” expressing the Department’s priorities:

1. To select wood preferentially in new building construction, while maintaining the Department’s commitment to certified green building standards;
2. To ask the U.S. Forest Service to examine ways to increase its already strong commitment to green building by reporting to him on ways to enhance the research and development   being done on green building materials;
3. Actively to look for opportunities to demonstrate the innovative use of wood as a green building material “for all new structures of 10,000 square feet or more using recognized green building standards such as LEED, Green Globes, or the National Green Building Standard.”

“SFI is excited to see the explicit recognition of the Green Globes standard and the National Green Building Standard, both of which recognize multiple forest certification standards including SFI,” comments the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Kathy Abusow.  The American Forest Foundation and the National Alliance of Forest Owners also praised the announcement.