16-0911 v3.0/Cal Guerxo/Certified Wood


Imperative 12 requires all wood to be certified to FSC labelling standards in order to ensure minimal social and environmental impacts related to forest management. Currently the Imperative states that only FSC certified wood is acceptable.

Both the BREEAM and LEED rating systems used to specify FSC certified wood only, but recently both BREEAM and LEED have included PEFC certification as an alternative to FSC certification.



We are discussing with a local timber company that is specialized in the construction of sustainable, energy efficient houses. They use local wood, legally harvested and apply all the right steps such as moon phase harvesting and proper drying in order to assure a high quality of wood. All their wood is PEFC certified since PEFC is the most common certification scheme in Europe.

Given the recent evolution of the BREEAM and LEED Rating systems and the widespread use of the PEFC certification in Europe, we would like to ask if PEFC certification sourced locally would be acceptable for a European project. We would also like to point out that Europe has a strict Timber Regulation since 2013. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eutr2013/faq/index_en.htm

In case that would not be acceptable, it would mean that some of the requirements of the PEFC certification are less stringent then FSC requirements. In that case, would it be possible to list the differences in order to allow a European project team to complement a PEFC certification with additional documentation in order to be equivalent to the FSC certification and meet the intent of the imperative?


PEFC certified wood is not an acceptable substitute for FSC certified wood which has higher ecological standards and more consistent certification processes and metrics.  All wood used in the project must be FSC certified, salvaged, or be eligible under an Exception. For FSC wood sourcing tips, view the new FSC Sourcing Guidance document. Links to more information about the differences between FSC & PEFC are in the new October 2016 v3.1 Materials Petal Handbook (MPH p35).

Post ID 6088

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