Last week, we discussed the Virginia General Assembly’s attempts to pass green building legislation in 2008. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine was also forced to weigh in on his preferred green building rating system in 2008. Previously, in 2007, Governor Kaine indicated his preference for the LEED rating system in Executive Order 48:
“All agencies and institutions constructing state-owned facilities over 5,000 gross square feet shall be designed and constructed consistent with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system (including the use of Virginia forest products with alternate certifications) or the United States Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Energy’s ‘Energy Star’ rating.”
The Governor’s original proposed budget in 2008 did not include green building provisions. As part of the budget process, the Governor’s budget was sent to the General Assembly to undergo legislative amendments and the following provision, which includes Green Globes, was added: “All new and renovated state owned-facilities . . . that are over 5,000 gross square feet shall be designed and constructed consistent with the . . . U.S. Green Building Councils LEED rating system or the Green Globes rating system.” Governor Kaine vetoed the inclusion of Green Globes but the General Assembly overrode the veto.
The debate over green building rating systems continues to play out in Virginia and other states across the country. GBLU looks forward to monitoring the 2009 Virginia legislative session and further green building legislation. Virginia’s choice of a green building rating system will have a significant impact on the Virginia cities due to a peculiar statewide rule, which we will discuss next week.