While we have all (or at least I have) been focusing on the federal stimulus and its effect on the green building industry, an interesting development occurred in Virginia that may impact the future of a statewide green building regulation.

In past posts, I highlighted Governor Tim Kaine’s attempts to pass a statewide green building regulation.  As you may recall, in 2007, Governor Kaine indicated his preference for the LEED rating system and Energy Star in Executive Order 48.  In 2008, the Governor and the General Assembly crossed paths on the proper green building rating system for Virginia:  

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 Council’s LEED rating system or the Green Globes rating system.”  Governor Kaine vetoed the inclusion of Green Globes but the General Assembly overrode the veto.  

Based on the Governor Kaine’s past work to exclude the Green Globes rating system, I was surprised by a portion of the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address on January 14, 2009: 

"A few years ago, I issued an executive order requiring that all new state buildings be constructed to high energy-efficiency standards. Later, members of the General Assembly included similar language in the budget bill. That was a smart step in ensuring that the Commonwealth makes good energy decisions, and one that saves us money in the long run.

This year, I will ask you to ratify that approach again, by requiring in the Code of Virginia that all state and local government buildings meet either LEED or Green Globes standards for efficiency."

Did you see that shift in policy?  What do you think of Governor Kaine’s new found support for the Green Globes standard? 

Photo:  Ouij