How Far Should the GSA Go With Green Building Certification?

If you have been reading Green Building Law Update for any length of time, you have read about the $4.5 billion that was given to the General Services Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The GSA has announced plans to use the $4.5 billion to create high performance, green government buildings. 
 
The GSA currently requires that all new projects achieve LEED Silver certification.  Is it possible that the GSA is going to push for even higher green building certification levels?  We will soon find out according to a column by Bill Gormley in the Washington Business Journal: 

The government is expected soon to issue new directives on green procurement.  Michelle Moore, the new federal environmental executive, is pushing hard for green standards – particularly for third-party certifications to help provide some kind of proof that green actually means something to vendors and government buyers. 

Are we at the stage where the GSA should require LEED Gold, or even LEED Platinum on all new construction?

Government Moves to Define "Green" Contracting

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GSA - Sustainable Design Program

(GSA)


GSA Building Underperforms

(GBLU)


GSA's Green Stimulus Projects

(GBLU)

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Tim Hughes - October 10, 2009 7:14 AM

My prediction is we see something more detailed and less LEED driven come out of GSA, particularly on energy efficiency. Maybe a combination of LEED silver with a required energy star performance rating level, or details on specific points to go after.

NYT article notwithstanding, GSA has seemed particularly focused on the energy issues from the start. Final note, LEED gold on every building seems like a serious investment across the board. I am sure there are lots of government buildings where that makes sense, but there are likely a lot more where the cost/benefit would not necessarily be in line and the resources could be directed elsewhere.

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