You may remember that in previous posts, GBLU warned that September was going to be a big month for green building regulations in Washington D.C. It was anticipated that the D.C. City Council would vote on new green building codes on September 16 but the codes were tabled to allow for more feedback from affected parties. But there was still significant green building regulations voted on yesterday in D.C.
Late Monday night, H.R. 6899, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-189. The big story will be that an energy bill was passed that permits more oil drilling off U.S. Coasts. But as expected, the legislation also included green building mandates.
Among these mandates is Title IV – Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes. This section requires the Secretary to update the national model building energy codes and standards at least every three years to achieve specific overall energy savings, compared to the 2006 IECC for residential building and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004. From prior discussions, you may remember ASHRAE 90.1-2004 is the energy standard used by the USGBC’s LEED rating system.
But GBI’s Green Globes rating system also found its way into the legislation. Under Title VI – Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods, the legislation described requirements for both residential and non-residential projects seeking HUD assistance. Among these requirements, to qualify for HUD assistance projects can comply with one of numerous green building standards:
1) The national Green Communities criteria checklist
2) The gold certification level for the LEED for New Construction rating system, the LEED for Homes rating system, or the LEED for Core and Shell rating system
3) GBI’s Green Globes assessment and rating system; or
It seems peculiar that this legislation would require LEED gold certification but not include a similar requirement for Green Globes. Like the LEED rating system, Green Globes awards “globes” for each level of certification. The equivalent of LEED gold certification would be achieving three globes through Green Globes.
Word on Capitol Hill is that the Senate is likely to adopt a different version of energy legislation so it is unclear whether green building mandates will be included in the Senate’s version.