One factor that has significantly increased demand for green building is government regulation that requires green building strategies. So far, GBLU has focused green building initiatives at the city level. While there has been some federal green building legislation, GBLU anticipated major federal green building legislation would emerge from Congress in 2009. It now looks like federal green building mandates could be voted on before the 2008 presidential election ever occurs.
As Congress returns to Capitol Hill today from the two parties’ conventions, one of the primary issues on the table is energy policy and offshore drilling. A recent Greenwire article detailed how Democrats intend to offer a piece of legislation that includes energy-efficiency standards for buildings in order to counter the congressional Republicans demand for offshore drilling:
Top House Democrats say that shortly after Congress reconvenes, they will put on the floor a piece of legislation that will include an expansion of offshore drilling but also a renewable electricity mandate, energy-efficiency standards for buildings and oil industry tax provisions.
Under the USGBC’s LEED rating system, projects must satisfy a minimum energy performance by complying with provisions in ASHRAE 90.1-2004. The Democrats’ legislation could require compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2004, or a similar standard, like the EPA’s Target Finder.
GBLU was on Capitol Hill on Friday to discuss what additional Federal green building legislation might look like. The consensus was that Federal green building legislation would most likely come in the form of mandates for specific green building components. For example, Federal legislation could mandate the use of Energy Star compliant appliances. The list of possible green building mandates is long: insulation, certified wood and pervious paving are just a few.
If you think of other potential green building mandates, please submit a comment below. GBLU would like to put together a list and discuss what each mandate could look like.