Bryan Howard

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 to this accomplishment. The analysis from EIA points to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which set requirements to achieve 30 percent reduction in federal building energy use and 65 percent reduction in fossil fuel consumption of new or renovated federal buildings by 2015, as a reason for the downward trend.

While not named specifically, a large portion of the new and renovating buildings meeting these targets and contributing to these energy reductions are LEED buildings. With more than 150 million square feet of federal buildings LEED-certified, it’s clear that LEED is helping federal agencies and departments lead by example and achieve the many benefits of green building. Check out the federal agencies’ impressive accomplishments.

This is good news, but not great news. The agencies must continue to do more to reduce consumption through a number of measures including a continued commitment to performance contracting to help address existing buildings and certifying major renovations and new construction through the LEED rating system.

Let’s keep the government’s commitment to green building going. Stay tuned for information on the General Services Administration review of LEED v4.