LEED Credit Qualifying
In the LEED 2009 commercial rating system (NC, CI), the Certified Wood (MRc7) offers a single point if at least 50% by cost of permanently installed wood products are FSC certified. Under the LEED 2009 system, projects can be rewarded for the FSC credit even if wood is a relatively minor part the overall materials used.
In the LEED v4 commercial rating system, FSC is recognized in the Building Product Disclosure & Optimization: Sourcing of Raw Materials credit which has different options for credit achievement. In one of the two available points, credit may be earned by using products that meet “leadership extraction practices” for at least 25%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed building products in the project. Under this option, FSC-certified wood is one of a few products (other options include reused and recycled materials) that can count toward the 25% threshold.
While the credits specific to FSC-certified material sourcing for LEED 2009 and LEED v4 are different (see here for LEED credit library and the exact credit language), using FSC-certified materials on a LEED project will contribute towards credit achievement no matter which LEED version the project team is using.
This credit can be easy and with little or no cost premium if your project only has a small amount of wood. A multifamily high-rise, for example, may have little wood on the project except for doors and cabinetry. In this case, it would be easy to reach the 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) threshold.
Projects with more wood might encounter a larger upfront cost, but have the potential to demonstrate their environmental values of sustainable forestry management. Projects can also go above the 50% threshold and earn an ID point for 95% FSC certified wood. For example, a commercial interior fit-out for an investment bank involved large amounts of wood veneers and millwork with 97% FSC-certified wood, earning an additional exemplary performance.