Brenden McEneaney

It’s the end of January, and probably the last comfortable time to say, “Happy New Year!” With 2018 activities already moving at a fast clip, it seems the restful holidays are a distant memory. Green building marches on, and USGBC thanks you for joining us on the journey.

Of note as we start the year, the design professional’s guide for on-site potable water reuse is now available for download and use from the William J. Worthen Foundation. The guide was first conceived by our friend and green building advocate, the late Bill Worthen, and subsequently written and compiled by his network of friends and colleagues. The guide aims to provide simple and powerful reasons for non-potable water reuse in commercial and residential projects, through accessible steps for how to incorporate systems into project design and maximize their value.

Sustainability policy activity abounds

As summarized in our year-end article, 2017 was a very productive year for green building and climate policy, and on January 3, the legislature reconvened for the second year in its two-year biennium. Already, 2018 is full of activity and deadlines. The legislature is expecting to pause for a summer recess in July and close for the year on August 31 before the fall election season.

To further advance our mission in the state, we have been connecting with allies in the Senate and Assembly—past winners of our annual Green Hard Hat Awards, in particular—to support their priorities and identify new ways to further expand the California green building marketplace and the benefits that green buildings can deliver.

Notably, legislation further relating to housing, renewable energy and on-site potable water reuse are already in play. The last day for new bills to be introduced is February 16. In parallel, the California Public Utilities Commission distributed its draft action plan for zero net energy commercial buildings.

“We’ll be doing a hell of a lot,” was the frank quote by Governor Jerry Brown in his State of the State address earlier this month, referring to big plans for 2018. Gov. Brown outlined continued priorities related to climate, water, resilience, growing the economy and global leadership. Green buildings and infrastructure have been an important piece of this strategy, and USGBC is continuing our work with leaders in Sacramento to do even more.

The governor will be convening a global climate action summit in San Francisco in September. We hope to showcase the important role that green buildings have played in California’s climate action strategies to date, and how much further we can go with the appropriate toolbox, partners and policies.

As we navigate this extremely busy period, we will be putting in letters of support and commenting on a range of bills that intersect with our work to make green building mainstream in California. We welcome your expertise in helping us propel sustainability forward.

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