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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...

In Advocacy and policy 01.30.2015

Mayors, the VP and POTUS agree: We need to invest in local infrastructure

“Ninety percent of the United States’ real GDP originates in cities,” Vice President Biden remarked in his address at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting luncheon this past Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.   The Vice President went on to stress the link between cities and the important task of modernizing America’s infrastructure in his speech, echoing up a key theme of President Obama’s recent State of the Union address.  In its latest Global...

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 02.5.2015

What does green building have to do with the clean power plan?

On December 1, 2014, USGBC submitted comments to EPA on its proposed Clean Power Plan, also known as the 111(d) rule. The proposed rule would, for the first time, regulate carbon emissions from the nation’s single largest source -- existing fossil fuel power plants. The plan’s benefits could be huge:  the proposed rule is projected to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030—the equivalent of emissions from 150 million cars. Public health...

In Advocacy and policy 01.23.2015

The green builder's preview to the 114th Congress

With the change in leadership in the Senate and growing numbers of conservatives in the House of Representatives, many questions have come up regarding what to expect with green building policies in this new Congress. While there are certainly many unknowns, here are some issues to keep an eye out for that both sides of the aisle have shown interest in considering. Energy efficiency is still a top of line issue As the new chair of the Energy Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) has reaffirmed...

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 01.30.2015

Seattle and Boston excel at more than just football

With Superbowl XLIX just around the corner, we wanted to recognize the cities that the Patriots and Seahawks call home and specifically how they have lead the way with innovative green building policies. Both cities target LEED certification for all new and renovated city-funded projects; Boston at the Silver level, and Seattle at the Gold level. Also, each city has adopted legislation that target green building and energy efficiency in the private sector as well. Boston, with Article 37,...

In Advocacy and policy 01.22.2015

State of the Union 2015: Obama's focus on climate change

This week Obama delivered the 2015 State of the Union, and in his remarks he declared that there is no greater threat than climate change. "And no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." In last year's address the president emphasized that, "Climate change is a fact," and this year he challenged Congress to recognize that climate change is a trend and it poses immediate risks. "2014 was the planet's warmest year on record....

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