Douglas Reiser, who publishes at the Builders Counsel Blog, recently posted an interesting question regarding Davis-Bacon wage determinations for green building projects:

"What do you think about Davis-Bacon worker/payment classifications for ‘green building’ specialists or professionals? Should there be a classification for your project’s LEED AP? How about for any independent raters?  I am thinking that there might be a debate about HVAC, electrical, and plumbing workers who are trained in sustainable practices – do they require higher wages than your normal subcontractors?"

I have previously discussed the delay to the Department of Energy’s weatherization program caused by the Department of Labor’s wage determinations.  In December 2009, the Department of Labor came out with new wage determinations for weatherization work.    In its Virginia wage determinations (PDF), the Department of Labor explained that it "does not issue separate wage determinations based on a worker’s skill, experience or individual training."  As LEED AP involves a workers "skill, experience, or individual training," I do not anticipate the Department of Labor will adjust wage determinations for LEED AP status.    The wage determinations are broken down into six categories that constitute a number of "green jobs":

  • Weatherization worker
  • Doors & windows replacement worker
  • HVAC, furnace, heating & cooling repair, installation and replacement worker
  • Carpenter
  • Electrician
  • Plumber

Contractors working on federal green building projects need to be aware of new wage determinations that will impact your project.    Related Links:    Does Your Construction Project Require Davis-Bacon Wages? (GBLU) Los Angeles Times Assails Weatherization Program (GBLU) Department of Labor Prevailing Wage Determinations for Weatherization — Revised December 2009 (DOL)

Virginia Residential Weatherization Wage Determination