Resolution to Improve Green Building Policy Is Passed by Ohio Senate

April 30th, 2014

For over a decade, the state of Ohio has required any new school or school administration building funded by taxpayer money to meet LEED standards.

LEED standards are federal building guidelines which require the use of both environmentally friendly construction methods and environmentally friendly materials in order to meet LEED certification standards

However, each state can choose whether or whether not to require contractors to meet these standards.

Up to this point, the state of Ohio is leading the Union in regard to green building policy and following LEED standards having constructed over 125 LEEDs certified, state-funded, education-related buildings in the last decade. Through these types of projects alone, Ohio has, ”diverted over 188,114 tons of construction waste from landfills,” and used designs that increase energy efficiency by 35% while reducing water waste by 37%.”

However new legislation — Resolution SCR 25 — was passed in the state senate that changes the amount of LEED compliance on state-funded, education-related projects. Construction industry affiliates like National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) believe the resolution is a step in the right direction and, ”[applaud] the Ohio Senate’s passage of Resolution (SCR) 25, which calls for fair and effective green building systems.”

LEED advocates, on the other hand, believe the measure is a step backward. EDC, the official magazine for the LEED professional, has quite a different take than the NRCA, ”We’re very disappointed to see Ohio state senators listening to powerful, high-paid special interest groups and not Ohio citizens—hundreds of whom have voiced their concerns and opposition to SCR 25 since it was introduced last fall,” said Tyler Steele, vice chair, Board of Directors, USGBC Central Ohio Chapter.”

While neither side can agree on what the outcome will be, both agree that the resolution will affect the job market in Ohio. The American High-Performance Buildings Coalition (AHPBC) makes it clear they believe that LEED standards put worker’s jobs at jeopardy and are satisfied with Resolution (SCR) 25 because, ”Ohio can achieve our green building goals with increased energy efficiency, better building performance and sustainable outcomes with real results without jeopardizing the livelihoods of Ohio workers.” reported that, ‘‘Tyler Steele, the chairman of the USGBC’s Central Ohio chapter asserts that the Ohio senate resolution is the work of an out-of-state consortium of chemical companies that is, ‘upset that the latest version of LEED would make occupants aware of the chemical ingredients within their building materials.”’

While both proponents of Resolution (SRC) 25 and its opposition have said their fair share thus far, it looks like the anti-LEED legislation is here to stay for the time being.