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Under an amendment offered by Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, the bill would allow state and local government agencies to pursue LEED certification if an analysis shows that it would save them money in construction or in the first 10 years of operating costs. Also, buildings could use such ratings systems if they don’t “put North Carolina materials at a disadvantage.”
Several people spoke in favor of the amendment, including representatives of the U.S. Green Building Council, steel manufacturer Nucor, the Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the American Institute of Architects.
However, some criticized the lack of definition for the term “disadvantage,” and some said the 10-year limit when calculating cost savings would adversely affect contracts that major firms like Honeywell and Johnson Controls enter, where cost savings are calculated over 15 to 20 years.
Tucker said he understood that “disadvantage” means using specifications that would preclude North Carolina products from being used. He added that he is willing to work with the industry on possibly adjusting the 10-year limit before the bill goes to the Senate floor.
But House sponsor Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Yancey, balked at extending the limit.
The amended bill passed on a voice vote.