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In Advocacy and policy 08.29.2014

“Four More Years!” State policymakers rack up wins for green building

Last week, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) gathered for their largest ever policy summit. The issues discussed varied from clean power plan implementation to clean water and indoor air, to healthy, high-performing schools. As a framework for addressing these and many other economic and ecology issues, green building was a central focus, too. For years, state lawmakers and agencies have used the power of the pen and the purse to prioritize energy efficiency, healthy...

In Advocacy and policy 07.31.2014

Homeowner views on energy codes

A recent market research study revealed that Idahoans value energy efficiency. In fact, 65% of them favor energy codes that are consistent with national standards, but less than half trust the State of Idaho to adopt the right energy efficiency standards for Idahoans. The reasons for supporting energy codes are primarily financial. The monthly operating costs are the top driver of whether someone supports energy codes. Additional key motivators include the beliefs that energy code...

In Advocacy and policy 04.23.2014

State market briefs: Green building data that’s quick, easy and in REAL TIME!

Nothing speaks more clearly than good data. The Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) platform proves this every day. USGBC is excited to announce the release of a supplement to GBIG’s already robust data offerings with an update to the state market briefs. The enhanced state market briefs are dashboards that provide a quick look at state-specific LEED and USGBC data. Better access to data is just another way USGBC and the LEED green building certification program continue to drive...

In Advocacy and policy 03.24.2014

New reporting initiative helps federal agencies continue their green building leadership

U.S. federal government agencies were some of the earliest adopters of LEED. Over the years, we have seen the federal government build, retrofit and operate some amazing green buildings. To date, the federal government has certified 1,031 buildings to LEED, and another 3,000-plus projects are in the LEED certification pipeline. But with shrinking budgets and numerous requirements on their plates, these agencies need help to streamline their reporting as much as possible. Federal buildings are...

In Advocacy and policy 08.28.2014

10 super rad LEED public projects

Have you ever pulled into a train station and felt like you had really arrived somewhere else, because the station felt like part of this new town’s identity? Did you ever tour your local fire station as a kid, and if you were very lucky, slide down that shiny silver pole? Did you ever go to the local jail, and… well, actually that’s none of my business. Public structures really help define the personality of a town, and they’re where the actions that define history...

In Advocacy and policy 05.2.2014

GSA announces its award-winning green building projects

After several days of nonstop cold rain here in the District, it was nice to see the sun shining again on the first day of May. But it was even nicer that day to hear about all the award-winning building projects honored by the General Services Administration (GSA) as part of its Design Awards ceremony. GSA announced 20 federal buildings that were recognized for demonstrating the agency’s commitment to leadership and innovation in sustainability. A panel of judges from private-sector...

In Advocacy and policy 04.4.2014

Tax vote brings good news for green building

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee took an important move in advancing draft legislation that would renew a series of tax breaks that expired at the end of last year. The “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act;” passed the committee on a voice vote. The EXPIRE Act includes a number of important elements that will continue to enhance the efficiency of the building industry, particularly to the existing Energy Efficiency Commercial Building Tax...

In Advocacy and policy 03.17.2014

Around the world in 80 market briefs

Green Building Leadership across the World’s Megacities To accommodate the expected increase in urban population of 2 billion people before 2030, will require the equivalent of 200 new cities the size of Paris.[1] There is no question that cities will play the leading role in our future global economy. They are burgeoning markets supporting jobs and technological innovation. They are the engines of economic activity and are major drivers of the global economy. Green buildings are...

In Advocacy and policy 08.1.2014

USGBC supports key resilience legislation with the new PREPARE Act

Today, I joined Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) in a press conference call he hosted to introduce his new bipartisan legislation, the PREPARE Act (Preparedness and Risk management for Extreme weather Patterns Assuring Resilience). Joining several co-sponsors, Cartwright introduced the bill in the House on July 31, 2014. The PREPARE Act makes us smarter, stronger and safer in the face of these increasing extreme weather events. We’ve all seen the tragic costs these events are having on...

In Advocacy and policy 05.1.2014

Efficiency bills march out of House committee

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee pushed for positive change for building efficiency legislation with the passage of H.R. 4092, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014, and H.R. 2689, the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2013. These bipartisan bills both cleared the committee by voice vote. Each bill aims to make important improvements to existing federal policies. H.R. 4092 would task the Department of Energy with...

In Advocacy and policy 03.28.2014

DC to World: We mean green (and it’s code now, too)

Good morning, Washington. Today marks the culmination of almost two years of work and thousands of hours of volunteer time to make the District of Columbia, once again, a national leader in better, greener buildings. The USGBC-National Capital Region Chapter had this to say about the DC Green Construction Code: “This is a landmark achievement in the history of green buildings.” Our CEO, Rick Fedrizzi said, “It’s a proud day for the District of Columbia, its residents and...

In Advocacy and policy 03.10.2014
Image Courtesy of Jones Lang Lasalle

Trust but verify: Why LEED certification matters

We know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Simply put, trust must be earned. This is where third-party certification comes in. It holds businesses accountable for what they say is true, and it signals to consumers that the product meets certain standards so that they can make educated decisions about what to buy. Third-party seals of approval can communicate other things as well, such as the values of the company or the class...

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