FSC-Certified Bamboo Now Qualifies For LEED Credit

June 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently ruled that Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified bamboo plywood and flooring can now be included in calculations under Credit MRc7: Certified Wood, for projects seeking LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The ruling followed a credit interpretation request (CIR) submitted by a project team who specified Smith & Fong’s Plyboo® FSC-certified bamboo flooring for a multi-use project in North Carolina. After reviewing the CIR, the USGBC determined the bamboo products specified for the project had been harvested and sourced by a supplier that possessed the necessary and current certifications from the FSC, and the CIR was consistent with the credit intent to, “encourage environmentally responsible forest management.”

The CIR review concluded that bamboo is often used in many of the same applications as wood products, and is considered by the FSC to be a forest product despite its technical classification as a grass. Going forward FSC-certified bamboo building products (flooring, plywood, veneers) will be recognized within LEED’s MRc7 Credit.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the USGBC’s ruling,” says Dan Smith, president and founder, Smith & Fong. “To be recognized by LEED provides the ultimate validation for all the years of work we undertook to prove the sustainability of bamboo as a building material.”

Smith & Fong received certification for its bamboo resources—the world’s first non-wood product certified in accordance with the FSC’s guidelines—in April 2008. The company’s certified Plyboo products qualify for the FSC Pure designation, as they are 100 percent FSC material from an FSC-certified forest and have been sold and/or processed by an FSC chain-of-custody certified company. Smith & Fong’s sources use no irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers in growing their bamboo.

The exact wording of the USGBC’s CIR ruling can be found at www.usgbc.org/LEED/Credit/CIRMain.aspx?VID=2. (Access to the CIR pages requires a username and password.)

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in San Francisco, Smith & Fong Co. was the first U.S. company to manufacture bamboo flooring in China for sale in North America, offering its initial product under the brand name Plyboo in 1993. In 1996, the firm began producing bamboo plywood, followed by coconut palm flooring and plywood products in 2000. Smith & Fong is committed to sustainability through innovation. For information call (866) 835-9859 or visit http://plyboo.com.

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