FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 04, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The June issue of Architectural Record includes a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for architects and builders describing the benefits of using responsibly managed forest products certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard.
“SFI Inc. is sponsoring the CEU, ‘Sustainable Building with SFI Certified Wood’, to help educate architects, designers and builders because they make decisions every day that can affect the future of our forests,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “We want the construction industry to make the connection that thriving markets for forest products help forests thrive. When those markets fail, private forest lands are at risk of conversion to other non-forest uses.”
The article and CEU are timely, as the U.S. Green Building Council membership will be voting this month on new LEED requirements that state “wood or paper products must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or USGBC approved equivalent.” This prevents wood products certified to the SFI Standard and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) from earning LEED credit.
“It is critical that USGBC make clear the process and criteria for determining the ‘USGBC approved equivalent’,” said Linda Casey, State Forester for Alabama, whose Governor recently issued an executive order that requires public buildings to accept other forest certification programs like SFI and American Tree Farm System. “The sooner USGBC recognizes SFI and ATFS the better. With only 10 percent of the world’s forests certified, we can’t afford for USGBC to be the source of conflict and division among organizations that all support responsible forestry.”
“This CEU helps show that wood from responsibly managed forests is a great choice for building projects,” said Dr. Richard W. Brinker, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. “And it also brings to light some very real challenges for architects, builders and our nation’s forest landowners with how LEED recognizes forest certification.”
The CEU appears in this month’s print version of Architectural Record along with a link to online-only content with additional information and in-depth explanations and descriptions. McGraw Hill Construction, who publishes Architectural Record, developed the SFI-sponsored CEU. Architects and builders can earn a continuing education credit through the American Institute of Architects by reading the article and taking a free online test. Also, the CEU is approved for one Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) continuing education hour for LEED Credential Maintenance. To view the CEU and take the test, visit McGraw Hill Construction’s Continuing Education Center.