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In Advocacy and policy 06.24.2015

Energy efficiency for the roof, the grid and the people

The Senate Democratic Caucus meets regularly in a roundtable format to hear from industry and thought leaders about various issues surrounding the policy work they are engaged in. These meetings provide an open forum for the provision of new information to government leaders, as well as an opportunity to field questions and address concerns. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to the group about the importance of energy efficiency. As Director of Sustainability at GAF, I have a...

In Advocacy and policy 06.12.2015

Celebrating the people behind Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month 2015 came into focus for me when I met Nick Carver, Building Official for the City of Maplewood, Minnesota, at a reception held by the International Code Council commemorating another successful campaign raising awareness around building safety and building codes.  Mr. Carver was in attendance to receive the Building Official of the Year Award. After all, what value are these public policies anyway if there aren’t great people like Nick implementing them, and...

In Advocacy and policy 05.21.2015

Water Safe, Water Smart—Build to Code (Building Safety Month: Week 3)

Water safety takes center stage in week three of Building Safety Month, Water Safe, Water Smart – Build to Code. The International Code Council’s (ICC) website features tips on staying safe from water related hazards. When using and managing water in a building, plumbing codes provide the foundation for safe conditions.  USGBC has collaborated with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Professionals (ASHRAE), the International Code Council,...

In Advocacy and policy 05.13.2015

Resilient Cities Summit challenges government and industry to plan collaboratively for...

This article was co-authored by Cooper Martin, Program Director of the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities (NLC). “Resilience is bigger than disaster management,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, president of the National League of Cities and co-chair of the Resilient Cities Summit hosted last week at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, CO. “It's about preserving and improving quality of life for our citizens every single day.” The Mayor...

In Advocacy and policy 06.23.2015

Cities continue to lead the way in the Global City Teams Challenge

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the Global City Teams Challenge hosted in the historic National Building Museum and organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and US Ignite.  Project teams from around the world displayed their applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within the context of a smart city or smart community environment. Teams tackled projects with the goal of improving emergency response, transportation, health,...

In Advocacy and policy 06.11.2015

Building Coalition Unveils 2015 Policy Priorities at kick-off to High Performance...

This week, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) unveiled its 2015 Policy Priorities for the 114th U.S. Congress. The document marks a first for the Coalition that can serve as the framework for advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and the executive agencies. HPBCCC is made up of approximately 200 organization, including USGBC, that provides guidance and support to the High-Performance Building Caucus of the U.S. Congress. The Caucus is co-chaired by Rep....

In Advocacy and policy 05.15.2015

Bounce back faster from disaster (Building Safety Month: Week 2)

In the second week of Building Safety Month, we're focusing on how to bounce back faster from disaster. Over the past decade, scores of devastating weather events across the globe have taken countless lives and destroyed many of the buildings people once called home.  As natural disasters become more and more common, it is imperative that building codes be updated in step with the ever-changing environment in order to adequately protect building occupants. Code revisions must arise...

In Advocacy and policy 05.12.2015

USGBC co-leads new UN global program for sustainable buildings

As co-lead of the United Nations’ 10YFP Program for Sustainable Buildings and Construction, representing the World Green Building Council, USGBC joins the Finland Ministry of the Environment and fellow co-leads UN Environment Programme and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to engage with a robust group of global stakeholders, including USGBC Platinum-level member Skanska and our partner in India, TERI. The 10YFP is a global framework that enhances international cooperation to...

In Advocacy and policy 06.19.2015

Creating an energy efficiency superpower: The 26th annual Energy Efficiency Forum

When it comes to energy efficiency and technological innovation, “follow the money” was the advice of Jim Connaughton, Executive VP of C3 Energy and former Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) under the Bush Administration. Connaughton was the first of many distinguished speakers at the 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum hosted by Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) and the United States Energy Association (USEA). The theme of this year’s forum was...

In Advocacy and policy 05.28.2015

Closing out Building Safety Month

We are passionate about a lot of things here at USGBC, and saving energy is certainly one of them. Building Safety Month 2015 comes to an end with a final focus on energy in week four, $ave Energy, Build to Code.  Energy efficiency is the first step in building green and is the backbone of LEED—and the pioneering system rewards energy savings through a myriad of credits, across several credit categories. LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reducing energy and water bills...

In Advocacy and policy 05.14.2015

US moves forward with raising the bar for energy efficiency in affordable housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) took an important step this week—one that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of families. HUD and USDA issued a final determination essentially adopting the next set of building energy codes for a suite of programs and recognizing LEED certification as an alternative compliance path, which will help streamline documentation for project teams. USGBC filed comments on the...

In Advocacy and policy 05.8.2015

President Obama proclaims May to be Building Safety Month

For a fourth consecutive year, President Obama proclaimed May to be National Building Safety Month. Many governors and local leaders across the nation have followed President Obama’s example by declaring May to be Building Safety Month in their respective states, counties, cities and towns. In his proclamation, the President stated that his Administration is “collaborating with engineers, scientists, construction workers, and other professionals to develop cutting-edge tools focused...

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