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In Advocacy and policy 11.18.2013

Importance of Green Buildings Stressed by Business and Industry at UN Climate Negotiations

Globally, buildings account for 40% of energy use, 38% of greenhouse gas emissions, 12% of potable water and 20% of solid waste streams in developed countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified buildings as the greatest impact, least costly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Beyond emissions reduction and environmental protection, green buildings have extensive co-benefits, including cost-savings, job creation, and improved human health...

In Advocacy and policy 11.12.2013

Gov. O’Malley launches innovative challenge to spur Maryland building efficiency

The list of benefits from Maryland’s building energy efficiency programs feels a little like a MasterCard commercial. These programs have led to an investment of nearly $200 million, attracted more than 42,000 participants (17 percent of accounts), saved nearly 800,000 megawatt hours and more than a billion dollars, created more than 2,100 jobs and avoided nearly 400,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Oh yeah, and what about the benefit to the state’s climate resilience?...

In Advocacy and policy 10.30.2013
photo credit: AmericnJewl via Flickr Creative Commons

Once again, GSA recognizes that LEED works

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s what General Services Administration (GSA) concluded again on October 25. After a lot of study, the GSA decided that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system can and should be used in government buildings. LEED, it said, advances energy efficiency and saves taxpayers’ money. LEED has become synonymous with excellence and it’s comforting to know that GSA, the largest landlord in...

In Advocacy and policy 09.25.2013

Energy efficiency legislation delayed indefinitely

After two weeks of deliberation, the Senate couldn’t advance this important bipartisan bill. The Senate spent the first two weeks of September trying to pass bipartisan energy efficiency legislation, commonly known as Shaheen-Portman (S. 1392). Unfortunately, due to partisan bickering, including a rogue amendment on healthcare, the bill never got far on the floor of the Senate and has been postponed indefinitely. The Senate is now grappling with the more urgent issue of keeping the...

In Advocacy and policy 11.17.2013

LEEDworksOH

In Ohio, we’re proud to be number one in the nation for green schools, thanks to our state’s commitment to use the LEED green building rating system for new public facilities, including schools. LEED is the preeminent standard for buildings because it helps ensure they conserve energy, save taxpayer dollars and are healthier for occupants – especially for our school children. Why then, is the Ohio State Senate, specifically Sens. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Tim Schaffer (R-...

In Advocacy and policy 11.11.2013
Photo Credit: Bipartisan Policy Center

Focus on efficiency in affordable housing at BPC Housing Policy Forum

Last Monday at the University of Southern California, I joined housing policy luminaries, including ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Housing Commission Forum. The forum is a series of engagements around the country to discuss the need for robust housing policy reform. The public forum featured discussions on a...

In Advocacy and policy 10.16.2013
photo credit: Earmark Social Paper Good via Flickr Creative Commons

Green Building Law Update's “A Week in the Life of LEED Certification”

Check out Stuart Kaplow’s Green Building Update to see a highlight of how much LEED does in just one week. Some stand out stats include: 45 projects were certified. Those 45 projects comprised 5,891,366 square feet in total of LEED certified space. The 45 projects were spread across 28 states. Of the projects, 2 were Platinum certified, 15 Gold certified, 22 Silver certified, and 6 Certified. The credit achieved most in these projects was the EAc1 Energy Performance. And the 2nd most...

In Advocacy and policy 09.23.2013

“We have a movement” — Mayor Kevin Johnson calls on policymakers to forge more resilient...

Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., delivered a major national address last Friday at the National Press Club, outlining a blueprint for local leaders to join together and implement solutions to build a more resilient America. “The good news is that we have a movement and a call to action to engage mayors across the country,” said Johnson, the keynote speaker at USGBC’s National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century. “The...

In Advocacy and policy 11.15.2013
Photo credit: DVIDSHUB via Flickr Creative Commons

The test and opportunity posed by Typhoon Haiyan

Contributed to by Joe Crea The devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines continues to mount.  Winds that reached 195 mph brought unmitigated ruin, an untold number of deaths and displaced more than 600,000 people throughout the country. This beast of a storm has not only destroyed human lives but human health, too. Not just physically and emotionally, but socially; when natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy strike, they threaten and decimate...

In Advocacy and policy 11.1.2013

The business case for green buildings: ASBC event hosted at USGBC

People like to talk about the environment in terms of protecting nature — making sure we don’t pollute or ensuring conservation of natural resources for future generations. That’s a worthy goal; since buildings in the United States account for 39 percent of our carbon emissions, more than industry or transportation, it's a good place to start if we want to cut emissions.Another way to think about it is in terms of creating a good working environment. That includes making sure...

In Advocacy and policy 10.10.2013

This October it’s pumpkins, shutdown, and green building codes

October is not even 10 days through and it’s already been a great month for greener building codes.  Here are four of this month’s highlights (in reverse chronological order). Thank goodness none of these required any action by the federal government!  One thing seems pretty clear to me: we’re getting a little smarter and more sophisticated about the greening the codes… Oct 10: Rollbacks Defeated & New Ground Gained in 2015-IECC: Code officials once again...

In Advocacy and policy 09.16.2013

USGBC Inland Empire Chapter helping underserved communities

The USGBC Inland Empire Chapter (USGBC-IE) has been reaching out beyond architects, engineers and builders to low-income communities through its Sustainable and Healthy Community Initiative. This initiative aims to provide green building education and hands-on project experience to underserved communities, and to increase engagement with local programs related to green homes, green schools, green workplaces, and healthy communities. Since 2012, USGBC-IE has been working with the ...

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