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In Advocacy and policy 09.18.2015

Benchmarking in Montgomery County, Maryland

It was a busy summer for building energy benchmarking in Montgomery County. In May 2014, the Montgomery County Council adopted Bill 2-14, Environmental Sustainability—Buildings—Benchmarking, requiring the county and building owners to benchmark energy use in certain nonresidential buildings of 50,000 square feet or greater with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Summary statistics of the data are to be reported to the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection,...

In Advocacy and policy 08.18.2015

Chattanooga's gone green: Three take-aways

Last month, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and green|spaces released a regional sustainability website highlighting best practices in the region. It includes an action-packed timeline that tells the green side of the fabled revival story of this Southeastern Tennessee city. As you probably know, there hasn't always been a lot of green to boast about. Between the golden ages of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and the crowning of Outdoor Magazine’s Best Town Ever, there was a time when...

In Advocacy and policy 07.22.2015

U.S. Senate Finance Committee votes to advance green building policies

In the run up to the 2015 August Congressional work period the U.S. Senate Finance Committee made an important move to renew and extend a $95 billion tax incentives package that expired at the end of last year. The “Final Passage of an Original Bill to Extend Certain Expiring Tax Provisions” passed on a 23-3 vote. The legislation includes a number of important elements that will continue to support the efficiency of the building industry. In particular, the bill extends and...

In Advocacy and policy 07.7.2015

State of California buildings focus on water, energy, environment, performance

This article originally appeared on GBIG Insight. Read the original article. Green building has long been part of California’s approach to a wide array of energy, water, environment, and development priorities. There are more than 3,500 LEED-certified green buildings in the state totaling more than 500 million square feet of real estate (see stats). At the direction of California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the California Department of General Services (DGS) leads the state green...

In Advocacy and policy 09.14.2015

USGBC President attends White House Smart Cities Forum

The White House called together a group of experts from the private and public sectors to work together on advancing sustainability in cities across the United States through sharing of experiences and best practices. Roger Platt, USGBC President, was among the many climate leaders at the White House convening on smart city solutions. This event brought together leading thinkers and practitioners from government, the research community, cities, civil society and the tech sector to discuss...

In Advocacy and policy 08.4.2015

Senate Energy Committee approves comprehensive energy legislation

Last week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced a comprehensive energy package by a wide bipartisan margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes provisions on efficiency, infrastructure, supply and accountability, was approved on an 18-4 vote in the committee. The bill reflects input from multiple hearings this year and picks up on a number of energy proposals advanced in previous congresses. It also contains provisions that are important to the efficiency...

In Advocacy and policy 07.21.2015

House gives thumbs up to affordable housing efficiency program

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of another important efficiency bill.The Private Investment in Housing Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Representatives Dennis Ross (FL), Jim Himes (CT), Emanuel Cleaver (MO) and John Delaney (MD), passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 395-28. It is nearly identical to the provisions found in the energy efficiency legislation commonly known as Shaheen-Portman. This is the second bill to advance...

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 08.26.2015

Reinventing America's post-industrial cities through green building

Over the course of two decades, Catherine Tumber has had a distinguished career as a researcher, journalist and university lecturer. She has a Ph.D. in U.S. social and cultural history, and has been a research associate for the MIT School of Architecture and Planning’s Community Innovator’s Lab prior to assuming her current role as a senior research associate for Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. Along the way she has also served as an...

In Advocacy and policy 07.23.2015

Barriers to industrial energy efficiency: LEED can help!

As the industrial sector’s relative significance in U.S. energy use grows, tapping into the sector’s efficiency potential becomes more critical as well. In 2012, the industrial sector accounted for 32% of all energy consumption, and by 2025 its share is expected to exceed 36%. Manufacturing operations accounted for 74% of the industrial sector, representing 24% of all energy consumed in the U.S. in 2012 (EIA).  Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficiency, a Report to Congress...

In Advocacy and policy 07.15.2015

Solar on commercial buildings: An opportunity to comment

Are you interested in how to facilitate more solar on our nation’s commercial buildings? If so, we invite you to take advantage of an opportunity to voice your ideas. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under its SunShot Initiative and the Better Buildings Alliance (BBA), recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to explore strategies to support, expand, and streamline efforts to deploy solar on and for commercial buildings in the U.S. real estate market. Comments are due July 27....

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,...

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