While many have focused on the funding to fight the Islamic State terrorist group or the 1 percent boost in military pay, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 makes a major change in green building across this nation when it authorizes use of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard.
Congress has passed and this week President Barack Obama is expected to sign H.R. 4435 which is the comprehensive legislation to authorize the $584.2 Billion budget authority of the Department of Defense.
To appreciate the impact that the Department of Defense has on the real estate industry, of that budgeted amount over $20 Billion will be spent on housing in 2015. And the military directly impacts green building. This time last year, I wrote a blog post Defense Authorization Act Lifts Ban on LEED Gold and Platinum.
This year, on page 694 of the 786 page bill, section 2802 Residential Building Construction Standards, provides,
All residential buildings funded, planned, remodeled, or authorized by this Act that will be designed and constructed to meet an above code green building standard or rating system may use the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, the LEED Green Building Standard System, or an equivalent protocol which has been developed using a voluntary consensus standard, as defined in Office of Management and Budget Circular Number A–119.
Presumably that language also authorizes the use of Green Globes.
The National Association of Home Builders and the International Code Council partnered to create the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard. The ICC 700 can be used by any builder for their individual project as a rating system (including third party approval), or be the basis for a government residential green building code.
The Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and other instrumentalities of the Department of Defense are the largest owner of residential buildings in North America. So, this is good news for green building, but maybe not such good news for the U.S. Green Building Council that will see the market share of its already beleaguered residential systems shrink in 2015 and beyond.