Archives: Codes and Regulations

Subscribe to Codes and Regulations RSS Feed

The Opportunity for ENERGY STAR

Energy Star e
While much of the media hyperbole has focused on the Trump Administration’s 2018 Budget request of $5.7 Billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a reduction of $2.6 billion, or 31%, from the 2017 level of funding, little attention has been paid to specific priorities including the resultant opportunities for green building. One of the key … Continue Reading

Apply to be a Member of the ASHRAE Committee for Standard 189.1

ashrae 1891e
ASHRAE is looking for new members to serve on the ASHRAE Project Committee for SSPC 189.1 Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Buildings. The deadline to make application for Project Committee membership is March 15, 2017. Standards produced by ASHRAE are consensus documents developed and published to define … Continue Reading

Deadline to Propose Changes to National Green Building Standard

icc 700
Development of the 2018 version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is now underway. The NGBS is a collaborative effort between the National Association of Home Builders and International Code Council, the NGBS also known as the ICC 700 provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high rise multifamily buildings, … Continue Reading

Is there Lead in the Water of your Green Building?

lead 2
The subject of lead leaching from pipes and faucets into drinking water within buildings is not new. But the broad growth of green buildings, including green schools, that include water conservation strategies has the potential to negatively impact the quality of drinking water in those green building plumbing systems. To reduce indoor water consumption, LEED … Continue Reading

Legislature Overrides Veto of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Increase

Wind Turbines
On February 2, 2017, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates voted to override the veto of an increase the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, as enacted in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session. Last May, Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., vetoed House Bill 1106, that was characterized as a “sunshine tax” to be … Continue Reading

California is a Model for PACE Loan Reform

Residential PACE
California’s statutory changes to its existing residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, that became effective January 1, 2017, may be a model for residential PACE programs across the nation. The first residential PACE program started in Berkeley, California in 2007. Today there are laws in at least 34 states that allow some form … Continue Reading

Green Building Transactional Due Diligence

Due Diligence
As ever larger numbers of green buildings are bought and sold, due diligence related to the green features of commercial buildings takes on an increasing importance. But apparently most real estate due diligence checklists are stuck in the 1980s and while they address matters ranging from title and zoning to tenants and leases, as well … Continue Reading

FTC Order Restricts use of “All Natural”

ftc
The Federal Trade Commission issued a summary decision against California Naturel, Inc., for falsely advertising its sunscreen product as “all natural” in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. In a December 12, 2016 opinion, written by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the FTC describes how the company promotes its “all natural” sunscreen on … Continue Reading

Less Climate Change Disclosure by Public Companies

SEC Headquarters
Publicly traded companies are required to disclose material business risks to investors through regular filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since February 8, 2010, the SEC has expressly required disclosure related to climate change. While it has been controversial, the SEC’s 2010 interpretive guidance, the Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change, which … Continue Reading

Trump Election Can Make Green Building Great Again

Donald Trump
Election day 2016 in which Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States and Republicans control both houses of Congress portends huge business opportunities for green building. As the Executive and Legislative Branches look to arrest existing environmental and energy policies while driving up growth and lowering taxes, enabling voluntary green building … Continue Reading

The Ramifications of this IgCC Enactment are of National Import

Mo Co IgCC
Update. On November 15, 2016, the Montgomery County Council adopted Resolution 18-669, voting to extend time until June 30, 2017 for Council action on Executive Regulation 21-15, Adoption of the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IGCC). A Planning, Housing & Economic Development Committee work session will be scheduled at a later date. On September 28, … Continue Reading

Organic on the FTC Agenda

organic event
The word “organic” as it relates to non-agricultural products is the topic of the October 20, 2016, roundtable sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a big deal. The roundtable will explore interpretations of organic claims for products that fall outside the scope of the USDA’s National Organic … Continue Reading

Cannabis Cultivation has Growing Environmental Implications

Cannabis Environmental
Cannabis cultivation is not new, but beginning in the 1990s when states began to legalize medical marijuana and recently as state laws evolved, decriminalizing and legalizing recreational use of cannabis, the burgeoning industry has brought with it environmental implications, including of water and energy use. Energy consumption for cannabis cultivation can be incredibly significant and … Continue Reading

PACE Bill Due in Baltimore City

PACE Photo e final
A public hearing is scheduled tomorrow on a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program ordinance in Baltimore City. I have been quoted saying that PACE “could be bigger than anything in U.S. real estate since the invention of the glass window.” PACE loan programs, where payments for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy … Continue Reading

New Federal Floodplain Regulations Rewrite 100 Year Floodplain

Floodplain 0e
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is proposing to rewrite the longstanding 100 year floodplain standard for federally funded projects such that most building would now have to be 2 feet freeboard. In the name of resilience, reliability and green this proposed regulation will result in significant additional first costs for affected building. FEMA is … Continue Reading

Vancouver Leaving LEED for Zero Emission Building Mandate, But ..

vancouver 2b
On July 13, 2016, the Vancouver City Council approved a Zero Emissions Building Plan that is among the most aggressive by any government with the stated purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While much of the media attention has described that Vancouver is the first major city in North America to establish specific actions to achieve … Continue Reading

Is California Going to Ban Cows in the Name of Climate Change?

cows grazing
The California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board has issued a “Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy” that includes the penultimate statement, California’s dairy and livestock industries account for roughly half of the State’s total methane emissions and about five percent of the State’s overall GHG emissions. About half of the emissions from the State’s … Continue Reading

Historic Church Appeals to Higher Authority in Solar Dispute

First Parish ee
The First Parish in Bedford, Unitarian Universalist church has appealed from a decision of the Historic District Commission of the Town of Bedford that denied First Parish’s application for a certificate of appropriateness to install solar panels on its Meetinghouse roof. The complaint filed Superior Court for the County of Middlesex, Commonwealth of Massachusetts claims … Continue Reading

HUD Jumpstarts PACE Financing for Homes

Residential PACE 000
Last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs released new guidance, changing their previous positions, now widely allowing residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. With the guidance, PACE financing, where payments for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy improvements to real estate are made through … Continue Reading

Miami Beach’s New Green Building Tax

Miami Beach Sign
Some years ago an ordinance enacted by the City of Miami Beach received accolades across the globe when it protected endangered sea turtles that nest on the beaches of Miami Beach, by “restricting artificial lighting and other activities that disorient turtle hatchlings, causing them to crawl toward land rather than toward the ocean.” However, a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision is Good for Green Globes

GG e
The recent unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, is a win for small businesses and very good for those that work on Green Globes projects. In an effort to encourage small businesses, Congress has mandated that federal agencies restrict competition for some federal contracts.  The Small Business … Continue Reading

You Need to Review a SITES Scorecard, Now

SITES
SITES is a sustainable landscape rating system. SITES is modeled after the LEED green building rating system. And while it is a standalone tool for measuring landscape sustainability, in June 2015, Green Business Certification Inc., the USGBC associated certification body for LEED, announced it had acquired the exclusive rights to the SITES rating system, its … Continue Reading
LexBlog