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In Advocacy and policy 04.9.2015

New expert report finds barriers and opportunity for green building and codes in...

This article is co-authored by Wes Sullens. In the land of tech giants, giant sequoias, great earthquakes, and movie star legends, there’s no doubt that the state’s belief in California exceptionalism is real. While you won’t hear most people boasting about it, the building code, too, is outstanding. In 1978 it became the first to house an energy conservation code. Since August, 2009, the code has also included green building requirements for virtually all buildings. CALGreen...

In Advocacy and policy 03.19.2015

Efficiency and green building thriving in the capital of Deseret

*This article was co-authored by Grant Olear. From 1849-1851, the United States of America included the provisional state of Deseret which spanned large parts of present-day Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming. It was a gigantic, awesome, and unforgiving landscape that surely left people thinking about how best to thrive in a world of limited resources. These 19th century ideas of sustainability must surely have been alive and well in the...

In Advocacy and policy 03.3.2015

How they did It: A DC green code case study

"You're inventing a world we can't even recognize yet!" exclaimed Director Tommy Wells, Washington, DC’s acting director of its Department of the Environment to an audience of more than 400 local green building professionals last Thursday evening. The Green Tie Affair was a green building celebration, decorated with green ties of every description, and the kickoff to what promises to be a banner year for green building in the District of Columbia. Alluding to the current media attention...

In Advocacy and policy 02.18.2015

Clean energy at the capital: Richmond, VA

On Feb. 3, 2015, representatives from USGBC national joined members of the newly formed USGBC Greater Virginia Chapter at the capital in Richmond to participate in Clean Energy Lobby Day. Green building and energy efficiency were on the agenda.  Virginia has a rich history with USGBC and LEED. Virginia was ranked 4th in the Top 10 States for LEED with 2.33 square feet of certified space per capita in 2014; the state saw 150 projects, totaling 18.62 million square feet,...

In Advocacy and policy 04.3.2015

USGBC commends U.S. Senate for supporting legislation to advance energy efficiency

As one its final acts last week, the U.S. Senate took a positive step in advancing building efficiency legislation with the passage of S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act. This bipartisan bill cleared the Senate on a voice vote. For frequent readers, this bill is nearly identical to legislation long supported by USGBC that would encouraging tenants and landlords to work together to reduce their energy use and effort to improve energy benchmarking of federally owned buildings and...

In Advocacy and policy 03.11.2015

Let GSA know you support LEED

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has a critical role in making federal buildings more sustainable. GSA is a significant federal landlord, building, renovating, and managing assets for other agencies; and in addition GSA has the responsibility to recommend green building certification systems that support federal sustainability goals. To this end, GSA is now seeking public comment on its 2014 report which determined that LEED v4 aligns better than ever with Federal green building...

In Advocacy and policy 02.24.2015

We need you to speak up for the federal government’s continued use of LEED

Under the Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA) is charged with reviewing green building rating systems and making a formal recommendation for their use by federal agencies. Regarding LEED, in 2012, GSA reviewed LEED v2009 and found it has significant alignment with federal sustainability and green building requirements. Based on this review, in 2013 GSA recommended LEED v2009 for use by agencies.  Following the overwhelming adoption of...

In Advocacy and policy 02.17.2015

Efficient buildings help federal energy use get to 40-year low

You may have missed the recent announcement from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that energy consumption by the federal government is at its lowest point since 1975. This is, as some would say, a big deal and in looking at the contribution of the building sector in achieving this goal, it is in fact a very big deal for green buildings. While reducing fuel consumption was a meaningful factor in getting to this point, lower energy use in federal buildings was a key aspect in getting...

In Advocacy and policy 03.20.2015

Last chance! Tell GSA that #LEEDworks!

Under the Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA) is charged with reviewing green building rating systems and making a formal recommendation for their use by federal agencies. Regarding LEED, in 2012, GSA reviewed LEED v2009 and found it has significant alignment with federal sustainability and green building requirements. Based on this review, in 2013 GSA recommended LEED v2009 for use by agencies.  Following the...

In Advocacy and policy 03.11.2015

Federal agencies and their super rad buildings

Recently we reported on the announcement from the Energy Information Administration that the federal government is consuming energy at its lowest levels since 1975. The U.S. government is the biggest consumer of energy in the nation, and their commitment to greening their building stock was critical to this advancement. The federal government has been a leader in LEED since the beginning, and with more than 2,500 certified projects, the energy and water savings are racking up. Check out this...

In Advocacy and policy 02.23.2015

U.S. leadership inspires global, sustainability action

As Secretary Kerry and the State Department announced a new leadership program on air pollution, I’m reminded of the Department’s strong record of leadership in green building. Last week I had the honor of joining Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as they announced a new effort to bring air quality monitoring to U.S. embassies around the world.  The announcement was yet another case where leading by example has gone on to inspire others and have...

In Advocacy and policy 02.6.2015

Legislators announce bipartisan effort to advance school efficiency

This week, members of the U.S. Representatives reaffirmed their commitment to advancing school efficiency policy. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA), Chris Gibson (NY), and Peter Welch (VT) re-introduced the bipartisan Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act.  This legislation might sound familiar to frequent readers. It was passed out of the House Energy and Committee and the by the House of Representatives last year. The bill would require the Secretary of Energy to...

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