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House passes green-building bill

By Rick Rothacker
rrothacker@charlotteobserver.com

RALEIGH A bill regulating environmentally friendly public construction projects that initially sparked opposition from steelmaker Nucor was approved by the House on Thursday after changes that satisfied the Charlotte company.

The measure allows major construction projects to use building rating systems like the one offered by the U.S. Green Building Council as long as the program promotes building materials, including steel and wood, produced in the state.

Nucor, which makes steel used in such projects, had said a provision in the original bill benefiting the state’s timber industry would have effectively blocked use of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

Nucor spokeswoman Katherine Miller said the company supports the current version of the bill, which has also passed the Senate and is now headed to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

“The amended version maintains the option to seek LEED certification in new state construction projects if desired,” Miller said. “As such, it encourages the use of all materials manufactured or harvested in North Carolina while not favoring one industry at the expense of others.”

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