News About Sustainable, High-Performance
“Green” Buildings and Standards
Fannie Mae Offers Interest Rate Incentive for Green Building
Washington, DC - March 4, 2015 - Fannie Mae will provide a new incentive of 10 basis points off any loan for multifamily properties with one of ten green building certifications, see http://bit.ly/1BZ8go6
Leading Building Industry Groups Agree To Streamline Green Building Tool Coordination And Development
Atlanta, GA - August 21, 2014 - ASHRAE, the International Code Council (ICC), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announce the signing of a memorandum to collaborate on the development of Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program.
The unprecedented cooperation aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes and/or provide incentives for voluntary leadership programs such as LEED.
The agreement outlines the development, maintenance and implementation of new versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and the IgCC, which will be combined into one regulatory tool. This agreement also endeavors to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.
Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative Standardization Roadmap V1.0 Draft Open for Public Comment until March 15, 2014
Washington, DC - February 21, 2014 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) has released for public comment the EESCC Standardization Roadmap V1.0 draft, which outlines 116 recommendations to advance energy efficiency in the built environment through standards and conformance activities. U.S. experts on energy efficiency-related issues, members of the standardization community, and other affected stakeholders are invited to submit input on the EESCC Roadmap V1.0 draft by March 15, 2014. The draft is being issued for public comment to provide an opportunity for review and feedback on the EESCC’s findings and recommendations before final publication in mid-2014. See http://bit.ly/1dZjOMd
Energy performance certificates in buildings: better energy efficiency rewarded in the real estate market.
Brussels - June 21, 2013 - On 20 June 2013, the Commission published a study on "Energy performance certificates in buildings and their impact on transaction prices and rents in selected EU countries". The study shows a positive impact of the Energy Performance Certificate under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2010/31/EU) on sales and rental prices indicating that better energy efficiency is rewarded in the market. In one of the first studies of its kind to include an analysis of residential markets in Europe, it was found that higher energy ratings result in substantially higher sales or rental values of buildings on average in most of the Member States that were analysed. The study was commissioned to consortium led by BIO INTELLIGENCE SERVICE. To download the report see: http://bit.ly/11YFGh0
U.S. Energy Department Launches New Database on Residential and Commercial Building Energy Performance
Washington, DC - June 17, 2013 - The Energy Department today launched a new Buildings Performance Database, the largest free, publicly available database of residential and commercial building energy performance information. Currently, commercial and residential buildings account for approximately 70% of the electricity consumption in the nation. The database strengthens the Department's commitment to provide U.S. industry, state and local governments, and researchers with innovative energy data tools that can help cut energy waste and save money.
Full text: http://1.usa.gov/129LCCI
Ontario Home Builders launch Building Performance Project™ Certification System
Toronto, ON - June 4, 2013 - EnerQuality, in partnership with BILD, OHBA and BRE Canada, is developing a voluntary certification program for high performance mid- and high-rise residential buildings.
We’re calling the initiative the Building Performance Project™. After several months of design (including Steering Committee and Working Group meetings), we now have a draft standard ready for public consultation.
Full text: http://bit.ly/19FWMXo
Built Green Canada launches High Density Program for Multi-Residential Buildings
Edmonton, AB - June 3, 2013 - In parallel to National Environment Week, Built Green Canada launches its new High Density (HD) program. HD addresses the needs of builders constructing multi-storey and residential tower development.
This program emerges from Built Green Canada’s multi-storey and residential tower program, which was in existence for three years before it transitioned to an HD pilot in 2011. The transition was based on builders’ input, emerging building practices, energy efficiency advancements and market demand. Extensive work was undertaken by Built Green Canada’s Technical & Standards Committee—a team whose members bring a range of technical competencies and building experience to the organization.
Full text: http://bit.ly/15CRn0o
ASHRAE Building Energy Labeling Program Expanded
Atlanta, GA - May 23, 2013 - A building energy labeling program that allows the industry to zero in on opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value has been expanded to include an As Designed label.
The program is now two labels in one: an As Designed label that rates the building’s potential energy use under standardized conditions—independent of the building’s occupancy and usage—and an In Operation label that rates the building’s actual measured energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy and usage.
Full text: http://bit.ly/19G1ofS
New Research Compares Building Energy Performance Measurement
Chicago, IL - April 26, 2013 - A new paper released by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) proposes a classification framework for energy efficiency evaluation tools by comparing 17 building energy performance assessment systems from ten countries. These systems include Energieausweis in Germany; the Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development (MOHURD) rating in China; Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates in the UK; and the Home Energy Rating System and ENERGY STAR in the U.S. Full text:http://bit.ly/12URDYl
CSA releases draft of first national Residential Depressurization standard for public comment
Toronto, ON - April 4, 2013 - Today, the Canadian Standards Association released for public comment, a draft of the first national standard that will determine levels of depressurization that occur in homes using combustion devices, as well as solutions to mitigate risks arising from depressurization. The public can comment on the draft standard until June 3rd.
To comment follow this link: http://bit.ly/10j80fb
World Green Building Trends report released by McGraw-Hill
New York, NY - February 28, 2013 - As sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives take hold around the world, firms are finding business value and opportunities from green building, including the opportunity for new environmentally responsible products, according to McGraw-Hill Construction's latest SmartMarket Report, "World Green Building Trends - Business Benefits Driving New and Retrofit Market Opportunities in Over 60 Countries," released today.
Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations Forward Regulatory Plan 2013-2015
Ottawa, ON - February 20, 2013 - Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and complementary market stimulation activities have been announced by the Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada.
U.S. States Realize Big Benefits by Keeping Current with Energy Standards for Buildings
Gaithersburg, MD - February 6, 2013 - States that have not adopted the latest energy-efficiency standard for commercial buildings are foregoing an average reduction of almost 10 percent in energy consumed by new structures over 10 years, which would trim their energy costs and carbon emissions by over 12 percent, according to a study by an economist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
As important, the sizeable reductions in energy use and carbon emissions are cost-effective, says NIST's Joshua Kneifel, who analyzed energy usage and other variables for more than 12,500 buildings across 228 U.S. cities. Overall, more stringent efficiency requirements do not increase total construction and future operation costs for new commercial buildings. In fact, the average life-cycle cost over 10 years decreases by an average of nearly 1 percent, Kneifel found.
Full text: http://1.usa.gov/V3Fmxk
U.S. General Services Administration Seeks Public Input on Green Building Certification
Washington, DC - February 5, 2013 - GSA and its Federal agency partners in the EISA 436(h) Ad-Hoc Discussion Group are seeking public input regarding possible approaches GSA may take in fulfilling its requirement from the Energy
Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 to provide a formal recommendation to the Secretary of Energy that identifies a green building
certification system(s) most likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally-sound approach to the certification of green Federal buildings. Full text: http://1.usa.gov/XePsKk
Canada Introduces Energy Efficiency Requirements for Houses and Small Buildings
Ottawa, ON - For the first time, Canada's National Building Code will contain energy efficiency requirements for houses and small buildings. They are published as part of the recent Revisions and Errata for the NBC, which is accessible online free of charge. Here is a link to the order page: http://lnkd.in/Hm4QA9
. The energy section starts on page 92 of the PDF document.
Scoring Tools Released for U.S. National Green Building Standard Green Certification
Upper Marlboro, MD - January 28, 2013 - An EXCEL-based scoring file for new or remodeled green homes, apartment buildings or land development to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) has been released. See: http://nahbrc.com/greenscoring
ANSI Approves Consensus-Based ICC 700-2012 National Green Building Standard
Upper Marlboro, MD - January 11, 2013 - Last night the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) notified the NAHB Research Center of its approval of the ICC 700-2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The Research Center served as Secretariat for the standard development process that began in November 2010. ANSI will make the official public announcement of the NGBS approval in its January 18 issue of Standards Action.
In 2007, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) partnered to fund the development of the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval by ANSI as an American National Standard. Since being published in 2009, this is the first time the NGBS has undergone Consensus Committee review and update.
Full text: http://bit.ly/XcnXj1
ASTM Launches a New Initiative to Address the Environmental Impacts of Products
West Conshohocken, PA - October 9, 2012 - ASTM International announces its new initiative as a Program Operator for Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which will provide the venue for developing PCRs and verifying EPDs.
As green and sustainability become more prevalent terms, and measurement systems and labels more common, the need is growing to understand the real environmental impact of products from raw material extraction to disposal and recycling.
“The ASTM International program will provide scientifically based, quantifiable information about product parameters such as resource consumption and ozone depletion, which will give both businesses and consumers an understanding of a product’s real impact on the environment,” says Timothy Brooke, vice president of certification, training and proficiency testing at ASTM International. Through ASTM’s certification program, technical advisory committees will oversee the development process for PCRs.
Full text: http://bit.ly/Q5iqbh
CSA Group Introduces Sustainability Mark
Toronto, ON - September 11, 2012 - Building on a rich heritage and solid reputation for developing environmental standards, CSA Group has taken an exciting step in supporting sustainable practices, with the launch of a new landmark Sustainability Mark.
"Throughout the supply chain, demand is growing as manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and importers recognize that customers are demanding products with better environmental performance," explains Bonnie Rose, President, Standards. "In response, a cross-functional team at CSA Group has developed a program that will allow manufacturers to be certified to new sustainability standards and to demonstrate, credibly, that their products have met environmental performance requirements for product-specific sustainability standards."
Full text: http://bit.ly/SBC9FT
ITU Green Standards Week, September 17 to 21 (in Paris)
Geneva - ITU together with TechAmerica Europe is organizing the second Green Standards Week from 17 to 21 September 2012 in Paris, France, which will be hosted by Microsoft.
The Green Standards Week will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.
The main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of using ICT standards to build a green economy.
For more information: http://bit.ly/OX2hV4
U.S. Green Building Council Announces Changes to LEED 2012
Washington, DC -June 4, 2012 - In response to concerns raised by members, core LEED users and stakeholders, and in an effort to provide the marketplace a view of the full LEED program experience prior to ballot, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today that it will delay ballot on LEED 2012 until June 1, 2013 (or potentially earlier in 2013 if USGBC members and the market indicate readiness for ballot). Because of this date change, LEED 2012 is being renamed LEED v4.
Full text: http://bit.ly/TdWbFr
ICC Announces Availability of New Green Code
Washington, DC - March 27, 2012 - A new model code for constructing and remodeling buildings is expected to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste, and have a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare. The 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will increase the energy-efficiency of structures, while providing direction and oversight of green design and construction, according to the International Code Council.
“Today, the Code Council and its sponsors announce a new green construction code that will make a contribution toward healthier, lower impact, and more sustainable building practices,” said Richard P. Weiland, CEO of the ICC which developed the new code. “The International Green Construction Code published today was developed during the last three years with input from code and construction industry professionals, environmental organizations, policy makers and the public. Our community was diligent in developing a code that is not only adoptable, usable and enforceable, but also flexible and adaptable. We expect this new model code, like the family of other ICC Codes, to be adopted across the country and used globally.”
Full text: http://bit.ly/HkbX9E
New R-2000 Energy-Efficiency Standard Launched for Canadian Homes
Ottawa, ON - February 16, 2012 - A new standard for energy efficiency aims at lowering Canadians’ energy costs for new homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Minister of State and MP for Carleton–Mississippi Mills, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, and Ron Olson, President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, launched the new 2012 R-2000 Standard today.
“Our Government is committed to new standards that promote energy efficiency, save Canadians money, create jobs and strengthen the economy,” said Minister O’Connor. “Today’s announcement is the result of our successful collaboration with industry to continually improve residential building standards.”
The new standard includes measures to reduce water consumption and improve insulation and ventilation. Homes built to this standard will be 50 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2005 R-2000 standard.
Full text: http://bit.ly/yUwlvd
Canada - The Energy Efficiency Goal Posts are Moving
February 13, 2012 - The following is a crosspost of a guest blog written by the site owner, for www.BuildingRating.org .....
With the arrival of 2012, all Canadians have been invited to participate in a review of changes to the National Building Code (NBC) that would make energy efficiency an objective for new homes and small buildings. In my earlier blogs, I wrote about what makes Canada different, and how the U.S. and Canada chose different paths in high performance building labelling. I’m going to start with this consultation, as I try to bring readers up to date, and point to where I think Canada may be headed in the future. Full text: http://bit.ly/zipcYx
New Canadian Electrical Code a Green Light For the Future
Toronto, ON - February 6, 2012 - CSA Standards, a leading standards-based solutions organization, today officially announces the availability of the 2012 Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Part 1. The 2012 CEC is the 22nd edition of Canada's primary standard for electrical installations and includes more than 180 updates and revisions - the most comprehensive set of changes ever - including future-looking developments toward sustainable technologies that help address climate change issues, as well as several considerations addressing the safety of Canada's children.
New and extensively updated sections focus on renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic installations and wind-generated electricity, new requirements for electric vehicles and home-based vehicle charging stations, as well as tamper-resistant receptacles for child care facilities.
Full text: http://bit.ly/w854gU
ASHRAE Evolves In Recognition Of Role Of Providing Total Building Guidance
Chicago, IL - January 21, 2012 - Throughout its 117-year history, ASHRAE has been the go-to source in the HVAC&R industry for standards, education and other resources for engineers. As the role of HVAC&R has progressed to incorporate many facets of building design, construction and operation ASHRAE has changed as well. Today, ASHRAE is announcing an evolution of its brand to reflect those changes. Elements of the repositioning include a refreshed logo, a new tagline and a change to using only its acronym.
Full text: http://bit.ly/x0wQ5I
US DOE Highlights Energy Savings in Buildings that Meet 2010 Energy Standard
Washington, DC - October 19, 2011 - The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that buildings constructed to meet an energy efficiency standard issued in 2010 stand to reduce energy use by 18.5%, compared with buildings that meet the 2007 standard. DOE’s analysis shows that implementing the 2010 version of Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will save commercial building owners energy and money, help them meet their sustainability goals, and reduce carbon pollution.
View the complete notice of DOE’s final energy-savings determination that appeared in the Federal Register, see http://1.usa.gov/uG8SoV
Presentation on 2010 Federal Trade Commission Green Guides: Update & Green Building Marketing Primer by Stephen Del Percio
New York, NY - October 12, 2011 - Here is a commentary and presentation by lawyer Stephen Del Percio (Arent Fox LLP) at GreenBuild 2011 in Toronto, on the applicability of the proposed 2010 version of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Green Guides to the marketing of green real estate.
Blog and slide presentation here: http://bit.ly/nARGNx
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Introduces Five New Documents For Use on Sustainable Projects
Toronto, ON – October 4, 2011 – Five AIA Contract Documents are going green! Developed using AIA’s flagship documents as a base, and incorporating concepts and model language from the AIA’s Guide for Sustainable Projects, the new documents address the unique roles, risks and opportunities encountered on sustainable design and construction projects.
“The development of these new documents for sustainable projects is a natural next step following the release of the Guide for Sustainable Projects in the spring,” said Ken Cobleigh, Managing Director and Counsel for AIA Contract Documents Content. “We continue to see a demand for incorporating sustainable elements in projects. The AIA Contract Documents program continues to revise existing documents and develop new documents and guides, as necessary, to remain current with trends and changes in the industry and law.”
Full text: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB091293
ASHRAE Announces 30-day Public Review Period for Standard 189.1-2009 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
Atlanta, GA - August 12, 2011 - ASHRAE announces that a 30-day public review period has begun for Standard 189.1-2009 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The review period runs from August 12, 2011 to September 11, 2011. The draft and addenda can be found online: http://bit.ly/o6nRgp
New Move to Develop Global Standards for Measuring Energy Use in Buildings
Paris/Nairobi - August 2, 2011 - Efforts to establish international standards for measuring energy use in buildings have received a boost, after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) decided to consider an innovative tool developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to gauge energy consumption and CO₂ emissions in homes and offices across the world. The Common Carbon Metric (CCM) - developed by UNEP's Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative - could form the basis for a new international standard for measuring the environmental performance of existing buildings. The ISO - the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards, covering 162 countries - will develop relevant methods. Full text: http://bit.ly/pFFrAN
CSA launches Carbon Neutral Program to help organizations and building owners demonstrate carbon neutrality
Toronto, ON - July 20, 2011 - CSA Standards, a leading standards-based solutions organization, today officially announces the launch of the CSA Registered Carbon Neutral™ Program. This new program provides organizations and building owners with a credible, transparent process by which to declare their carbon neutrality and receive recognition in the program registry, as well as authorized use of the new program label.
"The authorized use of the CSA Registered Carbon Neutral™ Label signifies that the organization has voluntarily determined its carbon footprint and offset GHG emissions," says Bonnie Rose, President, CSA Standards. "CSA Registered Carbon Neutral™ Program recognition will help provide additional credibility and confidence to an organization's environmental marketing claims."
Carbon neutrality is the achievement of zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a specified organization or building. This is achieved by measuring GHG emissions and then (for all emissions identified) offsetting them through the retirement of an equivalent amount of qualifying verified emissions reductions or removals. Carbon neutral is not the same as having zero emissions.
Full text: http://bit.ly/pqGCLp
RICS Sustainability Group publishes: "Going for 'Green', Sustainable Building Certification Statistics Europe"
London, UK - July 18, 2011 - The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Germany Sustainability Professional Group has carried out a statistical pan-European survey of four different certificate issuing organisations for building sustainability: DGNB, BREEAM, LEED and HQE. The survey explored both currently certified commercial buildings as well as buildings registered for certification. The aim of the survey and of its subsequent publication, launched in Germany in May 2011, was to provide market participants with an objective overview of the state-of-play in the growing market for sustainability certificates.
Press release and download the report here: http://bit.ly/qxeakY
Proposed Changes Presented to Consensus Committee of the US National Green Building Standard™
Upper Marlboro, MD - June 3, 2011 - Working files posted for the June 13-17, 2011 meeting of the Consensus Committee of the US National Green Building Standard™ - 2012 Update Process.
Task Group files: http://bit.ly/ne7L3e
US Jurisdictions Adopt International Green Construction Code
Washington, DC - April 20, 2011 - As Earth Day 2011 approaches, more jurisdictions are utilizing the new International Green Construction Code (IGCC) as a tool to address sustainable construction for new and existing buildings. Fort Collins, Colo., and Kayenta Township, Ariz., are the most recent in a series of local and state governments that have adopted the IGCC, according to the International Code Council. These two actions follow earlier adoptions by Richland, Wash., and the state of Rhode Island. Fort Collins is the first jurisdiction in Colorado to adopt the IGCC and Kayenta is the first Native American tribal adoption and the first jurisdiction in Arizona to adopt the IGCC. The Code Council expects several more state and local adoptions of the IGCC within the next few months.
Full text: http://bit.ly/eArnSC
Maryland is First State in US to Adopt International Green Construction Code
Annapolis, MD - April, 11, 2011 - Maryland has become the first state in the US to authorize adoption of the International Green Construction Code 2012. The new code provides a regulatory framework to make green building an everyday practice and addresses issues such as energy use efficiency, environmental impact and site design. HB 972: Building Codes – International Green Construction Code was sponsored by Delegates Stein, Carr, Gilchrist, Glenn, Healey, Holmes, and Lafferty.
Full text: http://bit.ly/geS8sl
Applying Building Standard Could Slash Energy Use
New York, NY - February 9, 2011 - Nadine Post, ENR Magazine
Code crafters are lauding a significant process change in reference-standard development that provides markers for progress along the way, directional signals for reaching goals and validation of the standard’s potential impact on energy use and cost. The process, based on energy modeling and analysis, helped the developers of the 2010 edition of the commercial-building energy standard reach their goal of providing a standard that, if followed, could result in a whopping 30% reduction in both energy use and costs compared with use of the standard’s 2004 edition.
Full text: http://bit.ly/eCmV8a
Washington Judge Rejects Challenge to Energy Efficiency in State Building Code
Tacoma, WA - February 7, 2011 - New state-approved building standards for energy efficiency are not preempted by federal requirements, a federal judge ruled, rejecting a lawsuit from the Building Industry Association of Washington. US District Judge Robert J. Bryan dismissed claims that the standards violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, finding the rules are not preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The Washington State Building Code Council updated its energy code to include "a table of options for builders in order to achieve higher energy efficiency performance," according to the original complaint. The builders' trade group argued in a June 2010 complaint that the options "effectively mandate that homes have HVAC, plumbing or water heating equipment that meet a higher efficiency standard than those set by the federal government." Judge Bryan disagreed Monday in a 23-page ruling, finding the new rules complied with the EPCA general preemption provision. He granted summary judgment to Washington State Building Code Council and interveners NW Energy Coalition, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council and Natural Resources Defense Council.
Full text of decision: http://bit.ly/h9bQVf
President Obama’s Plan to Win the Future by Making American Businesses More Energy Efficient through the “Better Buildings Initiative”
Washington, DC - February 3, 2011 - In his State of the Union, President Obama laid out his vision for winning the future by investing in innovative clean energy technologies and doubling the share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Alongside that effort, the President is proposing new efforts to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all energy in the U.S. economy. Improving energy efficiency in our buildings can create jobs, save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make our air cleaner. The President’s Better Buildings Initiative will make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.
Full text: http://bit.ly/gEeQRa
Code Council Releases New IGCC Public Version 2.0
Washington, DC - November 18, 2010 - The International Code Council today unveiled its latest edition of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), known as IGCC Public Version 2.0, at the annual U.S. Green Building Council’s “Greenbuild” conference. Cooperating sponsors of the IGCC are the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).
Full text: http://bit.ly/fUSml4
UK Code for Sustainable Homes changes released as technical guidance
London, UK - November 11, 2010 - Housing minister Grant Shapps has unveiled plans to reinforce the Code for Sustainable Homes, the rating system introduced in 2007 to improve the overall environmental efficiency of new housing. For the "Summary of changes to the Code for Sustainable Homes technical guidance - 2010" and to download, see: http://bit.ly/dok9VY
US Department of Energy Proposes Federal Buildings be Fossil Fuel Free by 2030
Washington, DC - October 15, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is publishing this notice of proposed rulemaking to implement provisions of the Energy Conservation and Production Act, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that require DOE to establish revised performance standards for the construction of all new Federal buildings, including commercial buildings, multi-family high-rise residential buildings and low-rise residential buildings. The provisions in this notice of proposed rulemaking specifically address the reduction of fossil fuel-generated energy consumption in new Federal buildings and Federal buildings undergoing major renovations. This proposed rule also addresses how agencies other than the General Services Administration (GSA) may petition DOE for a downward adjustment of the requirements if they believe meeting the full fossil fuelgenerated energy consumption reduction level is technically impracticable in light of the specified functional needs for that building. Public comments on this proposed rule will be accepted until December 14, 2010. DOE will hold a public meeting on Friday, November 12, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, DC.
Full text: http://bit.ly/9aWEpA
Manitoba Announces Addition of Energy and Water Efficiency to Building Codes
Winnipeg, MB - October 15, 2010 - Manitoba is implementing changes to the building and plumbing codes that will increase energy and water efficiencies as well as make Manitoba homes healthier, Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, announced today.
Full text: http://bit.ly/cpuJam
Public Review on Proposed Changes for the Canadian National Energy Code for Buildings
Ottawa, ON - October 7, 2010 - The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) invites Code users and stakeholders to participate in the review of proposed changes for the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011, which has been converted into the same objective-based format now used for Canada's other National Model Construction Codes.
For more information about the proposed changes see Review of Canada’s National Energy Code for Buildings 2011.
More information: http://bit.ly/aHqNwE
Standards Development and the Political Process
One Standards Developing Organization’s Perspective - ASTM Standardization News - Sept/Oct 2010
Adapted from James Shannon’s keynote speech given at the August annual conference of SES: The Society for Standards Professionals.
Full text: http://bit.ly/dsT2W2
US Federal Trade Commission Proposes Revised "Green Guides"
Washington, DC - October 6, 2010 - The Federal Trade Commission today proposed revisions to the guidance that it gives marketers to help them avoid making misleading environmental claims. The proposed changes are designed to update the Guides and make them easier for companies to understand and use. The changes to the “Green Guides” include new guidance on marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, “renewable energy” claims, “renewable materials” claims, and “carbon offset” claims. The FTC is seeking public comments on the proposed changes until December 10, 2010, after which it will decide which changes to make final.
Full text: http://bit.ly/aMFkjx
ISO 21931-1:2010 "Sustainability in building construction" now available
Geneva, CH - August 11, 2010 - ISO 21931-1:2010, Sustainability in building construction – Framework for methods of assessment of the environmental performance of construction works – Part 1: Buildings is now available. The standard identifies and describes issues to be taken into account in the development and use of methods in assessing the environmental performance of buildings - new and existing.
"The building construction sector accounts for about 40 % of global carbon emissions, 40 % of natural resources consumed and 40 % of waste generated worldwide," said Jacques Lair, Chair of the subcommittee that developed the standard. "ISO 21931-1 is another important step towards reducing the impact of buildings on the environment and achieving true sustainability in building construction."
The new standard aims to bridge the gap between regional and national methods by providing a common framework for their expression. It applies to all stages of a construction project, from design through to construction, operation, maintenance, refurbishment and deconstruction, to ensure that the finished product is an eco-friendly building.
ISO 21931-1:2010 is one in a suite of International Standards dealing with sustainability in building construction. It is intended be used in conjunction with, and following the principles set out in, the ISO 14020 family of International Standards on environmental labelling, as well as ISO 14040 on life cycle assessment and ISO 15392 on general principles of sustainability in building construction.
The first edition of ISO 21931-1 cancels and replaces the ISO technical specification ISO/TS 21031-1:2006.
ISO store link: http://bit.ly/a7tIzE
Standards Play a Leading Role in Green Construction
by Laura Taylor, Standardization News - July/August 2010 - Through a widely collaborative effort, the International Code Council and cooperating sponsors, including ASTM International, have developed a consensus-based model green construction code.
Full text: http://bit.ly/9sB5T9
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design Standards for New Federal Buildings - Statement of Richard P. Weiland, CEO International Code Council
Washington, DC - July 28, 2010 - Testifying during a US Department of Energy public hearing this week in Washington, DC, International Code Council CEO Rick Weiland said the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) should be referenced in the Federal Energy Management Program's proposed rulemaking for Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design Standards for New Federal Buildings.
Full statement: http://bit.ly/b1HGut
Greening the Codes: A USGBC White Paper
Variety of US State Energy Codes Makes Compliance Daunting
New York, NY - June 23, 2010 - The building energy-use reporting tool released this month by the American Institute of Architects may help firms get a handle on how their designs compare to others regarding predicted energy consumption, but it won’t help designers comply with myriad statewide energy codes. Not only are there different codes in different states for both commercial and residential construction but statewide energy codes are constantly evolving, making it tough for designers to keep up with changes, say code experts.
Full text: http://bit.ly/aYbzIY
Boreal Forest Agreement Struck in Toronto - Now the Questions Follow
Toronto, ON - May 19, 2010 - A Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) was unveiled in Toronto yesterday by 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and nine leading environmental organizations. (The text of the CBFA can be found here: http://bit.ly/awFDJs ). In the light of this historic agreement many questions have yet to be addressed by the CBFA grouping. GreenStandard.ca will highlight some of them .....
1) Is the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative of 1999 the model for the CBFA?
2) Are only FPAC members signators to CBFA and if so why?
3) Why did WWF, Sierra Club, EcoJustice and the National Aboriginal Forestry Assoc. not participate?
4) Why did CSA, FSC and SFI not participate?
5) Can non-FPAC forest companies, ENGOs, First Nations, provinces and certification programs sign and participate in the CBFA?
6) Where is the full text of the 90 page agreement? Since this agreement takes place exclusively on public lands will all stakeholders have access to the full agreement in order to understand what has been negotiated on their behalf?
7) Can the 3 year term of the agreement be extended?
8) What is the role of the forest owners - provincial governments?
9) What happens if a province does not participate in the CBFA?
10) What is the impact on current provincial forest tenure negotiations?
11) What is the role of First Nations and why were they absent?
12) What are the provisions for public consultation?
13) Will representatives of forest communities in the Boreal be allowed to participate in the CBFA?
14) The FSC Boreal Standard quietly dropped its requirement for “informed consent” by First Nations some time ago. If "on-the-ground" FSC practices are used as a benchmark, then what manner of First Nations' participation is contemplated?
15) Will ENGO campaigns in other parts of Canada - BC, Great Lakes and Maritimes - be suspended?
16) Who will pay for ENGO participation in negotiations?
17) Who will pay for First Nations participation in negotiations?
18) Will the implied de facto mutual recognition of CSA, FSC and SFI that is described on page 3 be formalized?
19) The carefully chosen words in the CBFA describing “on-the-ground” use of the FSC Boreal standard is an acknowledged way of sidestepping the actual standard - so why bother using the FSC at all?
20) Since an "on-the-ground" FSC Boreal review will inevitably expose shortfalls – does this mean chain-of-custody review?
21) Is the much elaborated method of auditor selection in the CBFA a deliberate rebuff of the FSC's (and its subsidiary ACI) method of selecting auditors?
22) Is the CBFA choice of auditor selection in reality not the CSA and SFI method?
23) Do CSA, FSC and SFI qualify as “experts” when it comes to Boreal standards?
24) Who will choose the chair of the new "SFM Practices Experts Panel"?
25) Who will fund the new SFM Practices Experts Panel?
26) What is a meant in the CBFA by a “progressive policy framework for bioproducts”?
27) If this is a markets initiative, then why were tariffs for biomass harvest not discussed?
28) Who selects the LCA team and method?
29) The area of withdrawals appears to be equal to the area of current market curtailment caused by the economic downturn - if this is the case then what has been gained overall?
30) What specific contributions will ENGOs make to marketplace recognition of Boreal forest products?
31) If the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative is the model, then will its mixed impact on forest communities be measured and applied to the CBFA?
32) What do the CBFA signators suggest should now happen in the two-thirds of the world's Boreal forest that lies outside Canada?
Further questions and comments can be sent to marshall@GreenStandard.ca
ICC Green Construction Code Hearings Slated for August
Washington, DC - May 10, 2010 - As part of its commitment to safe and sustainable buildings, the International Code Council announces public comment hearings on Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The hearings are the next step in the Code Council’s governmental consensus code development process that will result in publishing the 2012 IGCC. Version 1.0 continues to be offered as a resource tool for jurisdictions seeking guidance on amending existing codes or writing new codes regulating green construction.
Full text: http://bit.ly/coWdhh
Proposed ASTM Standard - Energy Use in Commercial Buildings
West Conshohocken, PA - April 9, 2010 - A Proposed Standard for Assessment and Disclosure by Adele Bassett
A draft ASTM standard practice guides commercial building energy performance evaluation and reporting. If you’re in the commercial real estate business and looking for a deal, now may be a good time to buy. But buyers beware. From soaring office buildings to giant industrial complexes, to sprawling shopping malls and amenity-crammed luxury hotels, commercial structures can be energy guzzlers. Lawmakers have already passed legislation in California; Washington; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and New York, N.Y., forcing commercial properties to disclose their energy use. However, there is a problem. There is no standard method for collecting, disclosing or ensuring consistent and reliable energy use information for commercial buildings.
Full text: http://bit.ly/bY102t
Green Building Initiative Establishes American National Standard for Commercial Green Building
Portland, OR - April 1, 2010 - The Green Building Initiative (GBI) today announces the completion of the first, and only, commercial building rating system to become an American National Standard, as approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The standard, officially named ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings was derived from the Green Globes environmental design and assessment rating system for New Construction and was formally approved on March 24, 2010. The standard was developed following ANSI's highly regarded consensus-based guidelines, which are among the world's most respected for the development of consensus standards and ensure a balanced, transparent and inclusive process.
Full text: http://tinyurl.com/y2ufge9
New Green Construction Code Unveiled in the USA
Washington, DC - March 15, 2010 - The International Code Council today announced the release of Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) to regulate construction of new and existing commercial buildings.
The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. It addresses site development and land use, including preservation of natural and material resources. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (graywater).
The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.
The IGCC initiative was launched in 2009 with Cooperating Sponsors the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International.
Full text: http://tinyurl.com/yzatm5m
Download site: http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx
ASHRAE Releases New Standard for Design of High-Performance Green Buildings
Atlanta, GA - January 22, 2010 - A new standard for the design of high-performance green buildings is set to revolutionize the building industry. Published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the United States.
The standard, published Friday, provides a long-needed green building foundation for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings. From site location to energy use to recycling, this standard will set the foundation for green buildings through its adoption into local codes. It covers key topic areas similar to green building rating systems: site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. For complete information on the standard, including a readable copy, visit http://www.ashrae.org/publications/page/927
California Adopts Greenest Building Code in US
Sacramento, CA - January 12, 2010 - Continuing California’s efforts to fight climate change and protect the environment, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the California Building Standards Commission unanimously adopted the first-in-the-nation mandatory Green Building Standards Code (CALGREEN) requiring all new buildings in the state to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible. Taking effect on January 1, 2011, these comprehensive regulations will achieve major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and water use to create a greener California.
Full text: http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/14186/
A Decade of ENERGY STAR Buildings
Pilot Building Energy Labeling Program Launched by ASHRAE
Atlanta, GA - December 8, 2009 – A new program to inform building owners and operators, tenants and prospective buyers on the energy use of buildings, similar to a nutrition label on food or miles per gallon ratings on cars, was launched today to encourage the building industry to find ways to cut energy use and costs.
The Building Energy Quotient program, which will be known as Building EQ, will include both As Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operated) ratings for all building types, except residential. It also will provide a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, indoor air quality and other information that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building’s energy use. The program is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Full text: http://www.ashrae.org/pressroom/detail/17380
A Path Forward for Green: Creating a Code for Sustainable Buildings
by Dominic Sims, Chief Operating Officer of the International Code Council (in ASTM Standardization News)
Washington, DC - December 1, 2009 - The International Code Council, ASTM International and the American Institute of Architects are collaborating to develop the International Green Construction Code.
Full text: http://www.astm.org/SNEWS/ND_2009/sims_nd09.html
UL Environment to Develop Additional Green Building Standards
Northbrook, IL - November 12, 2009 - UL Environment (ULE) announces at Greenbuild 2009 that it intends to develop standards for sustainability in new industry categories: stone, ceramic, clay and glass building materials and glazing materials, windows and associated hardware and accessories. The standards establish environmental requirements for these building products and the environmental criteria are based on the life cycle impacts and health effects of the associated products.
Full text: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/UL-Environment-to-Develop-prnews-3871938663.html?x=0&.v=1
ASHRAE Developing Manuals for New ‘Green’ Standards
Engineering-News Record - October 21, 2009 - ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America are preparing a new standard to build “green.” Standard 189.1P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will define the minimum requirements for high-performance green buildings. But ASHRAE first is seeking research proposals to develop a user’s manual for the new standard. Proposals are due on Nov. 9. For more information, visit www.ashrae.org/technology/page/548. ASHRAE also is accepting proposals for a User’s Manual for Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The 2010 standard, which will be published next year, is being developed with the goal of achieving a 30% improvement in energy cost savings compared to the 2004 standard. More information on both projects can be found at www.ashrae.org/technology/page/548.
International Green Construction Code Effort Tackles Building Commissioning and Adoptability
October 16, 2009 (AIArchitect This Week) - With their third meeting in Philadelphia last week, building industry experts are zeroing in on the critical issues that will determine the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), both in terms of technical policy and adoptability by states and municipalities. Now in the middle of its first phase of draft development, the multidisciplinary team of architects, sustainability experts, civic officials, standards writers, and code officials headlining the effort to craft a green construction code are focusing on adoptability issues for parts of the building process previously untouched by codes—namely post-occupancy building commissioning.
NIBS Task Group Reports on US Building Rating and Certification
Washington, DC - September 25, 2009 - In 2008, the National Institution of Building Sciences Board of Directors appointed a Task Group to review the current systems in use across the United States to rate and certify building performance and accredit individual expertise. The Task Group sought input from a broad range of participants in the building sector. This report, resulting from the year-long effort, contains the Task Group's recommendations to address the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of building rating systems. See: http://www.nibs.org/client/assets/files/nibs/NIBS_RatingCertificationTaskGroupReport.pdf
Work on International Green Construction Code Continues on Course
Washington, DC - September 25, 2009 - Following a month of intense teleconference meetings among those participating in the workgroups, the second meeting of the ICC Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) took place August 27-29 in Denver. The following report, submitted by the International Code Council (ICC), details SBTC progress made toward developing the draft International Green Construction Code (IGCC).
Codes, Standards, and Rating Systems
September 18, 2009 (AIArchitect) by Christopher Green, AIA, and Ravi Shah, Assoc. AIA ....
"It is past time for the construction and regulatory industries to establish minimum standards for the performance of buildings in relation to resource consumption including but not limited to water, energy, and land. A green construction code is the clearest way toward developing a strong foundation for this effort. That raises the question: What are the fundamental differences among rating systems, standards, and codes?"
For the full text of this excellent article see: http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/thisweek09/0918/0918rc_codes.cfm
45-Day Public Review Begins of BSR/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
September 18, 2009 (Press release) - This standard provides minimum criteria that apply to new buildings and major renovation projects (new portions of buildings and their systems): a building or group of buildings, including on-site energy conversion or electric-generating facilities, which utilize a single submittal for a construction permit or which are within the boundary of a contiguous area under single ownership and address sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). This fourth public review shows changes made to the third public review draft in response to comments received. Comments received will be discussed at the November 13-14 Interim Meeting.
For more information see: http://www.ashrae.org/docLib/20090918_SAseptember182009.pdf
ASTM Developing New Standard on Collection and Disclosure of Building Energy Use
West Conshohocken, PA (Press Release) - August 6, 2009 -
As interest in energy efficiency and green buildings continues to build, it is easy to imagine that property due diligence by prospective buyers and lessees will begin to include such environmental considerations, which can impact property values and rental rates. This is particularly true in light of legislation such as California’s Assembly Bill 1103, a new law that became effective Jan. 1 and is directed at benchmarking energy use in existing commercial buildings. In order to accommodate these changes, ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action is developing a proposed new standard for the collection and disclosure of energy use information associated with buildings involved in real estate transactions.
Full text: http://astmnewsroom.org/default.aspx?pageid=1847
California Building Standards Commission Announces Nation's First Green Building Standards Code
Sacramento, CA (Press Release) - Furthering California’s commitment to lead the nation in environmental protection initiatives, the California Building Standards Commission announced that the nation’s first Green Building Standards Code became effective August 1, 2009. “California continues to lead the way in its efforts to reduce the impact buildings have on our environment. This new code encourages the use of renewable, recyclable, and recycled material in the building process, requiring all California buildings to be constructed with the environment in mind,” said Dave Walls, Executive Director of the Commission. "While the new code is voluntary, it is the first step toward meeting the Governor’s 2010 objective."
Download the GBSC at:
International Green Construction Code First Draft Under Way
Washington, DC (Press Release) - August 4, 2009 - Members of the International Code Council's Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) began developing the first draft of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) last week in Chicago. The first draft of the IGCC is expected to be available for public comments in April 2010. For more information see: http://www.iccsafe.org/IGCC/SBTC.html. The International Code Council's partners are the American Institute of Architects and ASTM International.
New CSA Group Environmental Solutions Site
Toronto, ON (Press Release) - August 3, 2009 - CSA Group has launched a new web site that describes all of its environmental solutions including:
- Environmental standards and guides
- Environmental Claims and Labelling
- Environmental Management Systems for organizations
- Climate Change: greenhouse gas measurement, verification and reporting for organizations and projects
- Green Procurement
- Sustainable Forest Management
- Environmental Design of Products
- Environmental Performance Evaluation and Reporting
- Product Life Cycle Assessment
- Environmental Risk Assessment
- Renewable Energy: design and performance standards for wind turbines, solar collectors, solar hot water systems, fuel cells and photovoltaic storage batteries.
ASHRAE Standard 189 Close to Complete
July 1, 2009 (Environmental Building News) - After a few bumps in the road, the committee behind Standard 189, a code-enforceable standard for green buildings, has released a third draft for public comment and hopes to have the standard finalized by January 2010. The newest draft makes it clear that what began as a minimum green building standard has turned into a high-performance one. It remains to be seen whether this higher level of performance will prevent Standard 189 from being widely adopted. The standard has been in development since 2006 under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
Code Makers To Meet in July To Work on New Green Standards
July 1, 2009 (ENR Magazine) - The International Code Council will hold the first public meeting focused on developing a model green-construction code, outside of Chicago in Rosemont, Ill., on July 28-30. In launching the multiyear initiative to create the International Green Construction Code, ICC says it expects a final draft of the code to be available “as a resource document” in 2010. The code, to be written under the guidance of ICC’s Sustainable Building Technology Committee, will address design and performance of new and existing commercial buildings. The American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Testing and Materials are participating in the development. ICC also has invited other standards-writing bodies involved with sustainability to participate. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, visit www.iccsafe.org/green.
ICC, AIA and ASTM Launch International Green Construction Code
Washington, DC - June 29, 2009 (Press Release) - The International Code Council launched its International Green Construction Code (IGCC) initiative today, which will reduce energy usage and the carbon footprint of commercial buildings. Entitled “IGCC: Safe and Sustainable By the Book,” the initiative is committed to develop a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings. It will focus on building design and performance. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of energy used and produce about the same amount of the nation’s carbon emissions. The Code Council included a number of key organizations during its announcement, including noting special roles for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM as cooperating sponsors for this important project.
Full text: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/nr/2009/0629_IGCC.pdf
IGCC on the web: http://www.iccsafe.org/IGCC/index.html
Green Building Guide to Waxman-Markey (H.R.2454)
EU Commission launches BUILD UP web portal to help cut energy consumption for buildings
Brussels - June 16, 2009 (Press Release) - The European Commission launched today the BUILD UP web portal on http://www.buildup.eu/ as a tool for sharing information on reducing energy use of buildings. Content will be regularly updated and enhanced by users themselves to cover a wide range of good practice in energy reduction and of information on legislation.
US House Energy Bill Would Create National Building Code (and homebuilders not amused)
Singapore's 2nd Green Building Masterplan - 80% of buildings will be green by 2030
Singapore - April 27, 2009 - At least 80% of the buildings in Singapore to achieve the BCA Green Mark Certified rating by 2030, is the target that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD) has set for Singapore’s built environment. To achieve this, the Building and Construction Authority (for BCA click here http://www.bca.gov.sg/GreenMark/green_mark_buildings.html) is rolling out its 2nd Green Building Masterplan, a roadmap that sets out specific initiatives to achieve a truly sustainable built environment in Singapore by 2030. When fully implemented, the 2nd Green Building Masterplan will result in annual savings of (SgDr)$1.6 billion in terms of energy cost reductions.
Full text: http://www.bca.gov.sg/Newsroom/others/pr270409.pdf
Building Sector Must Change to Meet Global Energy Targets, New Study Finds
Geneva, CH - April 27, 2009 - New modeling by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) shows how energy use in buildings can be cut by 60 percent by 2050 – essential to meeting global climate change targets – but this will require immediate action to transform the building sector. This is the central message of the report from the WBCSD's four-year, $15 million Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) research project, the most rigorous study ever conducted on the subject.
International Code Council to initiate green code development project
Washington, DC - April 22, 2009 - The International Code Council announces its intent to initiate a “Green Building Code Development Project” targeted at the commercial market. The objective of this new project is to develop a Green Building Code for traditional and high-performance buildings that is consistent and coordinated with the ICC family of Codes and Standards. The code will provide a ne regulatory framework built with leading recognized rating systems in mind. The Code will provide criteria to drive green building into everyday practice.
Full text: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/nr/2009/0422_GreenCode.pdf
BREEAM, LEED and GreenStar to Work Together on Measurement Tools
London, UK - March 3, 2009 (Building magazine) - The organisations behind the world's three leading environmental assessment tools are combining forces to come up with a common way to measure carbon emissions from new buildings .... a memorandum of understanding will be signed today between the UK Green Building Council, BRE, the US Green Building Council and the Green Building Council Australia to develop common metrics to measure emissions of CO2 equivalents from new homes and buildings.
US Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Hearing: to provide recommendations for reducing energy consumption in buildings
Washington, DC - February 26, 2009 - The US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony from six energy efficiency advocates who asked Congress to enact national building codes that would exceed the existing International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 50% for both residential and commercial buildings. The six were:
- Professor Arun Majumdar - Director, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Mr. Edward Mazria - Founder and Executive Director, Architecture 2030
- Mr. Philip Giudice - Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
- Ms. Jennifer Amann - Director, Buildings Program, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
- Mr. Ward Hubbell - President, Green Building Initiative
- Mr. Charles Zimmerman - Vice President, International Design and Construction, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Download and read their testimony at:
ASHRAE, GBI Pledge to Collaborate to Promote Building Sustainability
Atlanta, GA - February 19, 2009 (Press Release) - Through a new memorandum of understanding, ASHRAE and the Green Building Initiative (GBI) will work together to accelerate the adoption of sustainability principles in the built environment. The agreement was approved by ASHRAE and by the GBI Board of Directors during their winter meetings. "ASHRAE supports a wide variety of programs that encourage the sustainable design and operation of buildings,” Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president, said. “Tools such as GBI’s Green Globes rating system help to provide metrics through which building owners and operators can gauge a building’s sustainability performance. Pushing forward the built environment to improve sustainability will require a collaborative effort among a myriad of organizations. ASHRAE looks forward to collaborating with GBI and other organizations.”
ASHRAE Proposes Building Energy Labeling Programme
Atlanta, GA - February 6, 2009 (Press Release) ASHRAE is moving right along in engineering tomorrow today through a proposed building energy labeling program and a proposed high-performance building standard, according to leaders at the Society’s 2009 Winter Conference.
Full release: http://www.ashrae.org/pressroom/detail/17030
ANSI Approves US National Green Building Standard™: ANSI/ICC 700-2008
Washington, DC - January 29, 2009 (Press Release)- The National Green Building Standard™ (ANSI/ICC 700-2008) for all residential construction work including single-family homes, apartments and condos, land development and remodeling and renovation was approved today by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Full release: http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=8533
US Stimulus Bill requires states to update energy codes
Washington, DC - January 28, 2009 (Press Release) - Legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives includes $3.4 billion in energy assistance grants for states if the International Code Council’s 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is adopted and administered. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The House bill requires governors who want a share of state energy assistance grants to certify their state will adopt an energy code for one- and two-family homes, townhouses and low-rise, multiple-family buildings that meets or exceeds provisions in the 2009 IECC for residential construction, and the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, as referenced in the 2009 IECC for commercial buildings.
Full release: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/nr/2009/0128_energy.html
Also read the ICC's letter, to US Energy Secretary Chu, on the important use of metrics in legislation that promotes energy conservation: http://media.iccsafe.org/news/eNews/2009v6n1/chuletter.pdf
Work Restarted on First U.S. Non-Residential Green Building Standard
Chicago, IL - January 28, 2009 (Pam Hunter, ENR) - The reconstituted committee charged with developing the nation’s first green building standard met for the first time on Jan. 27 in Chicago at the winter meeting of the standard’s lead developer, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Inc. The two-year-old committee stopped work in the fall after ASHRAE decided the panel needed broader industry representation. The new Standard 189 committee has 34 voting members, up from 21.
The committee includes more representation from owners, the steel sector and construction, said Kent Peterson, chief engineer of P2S Engineering, Long Beach, Calif., and the panel’s new chair. Panel members will likely work within existing draft language but make adjustments, said Peterson.
The hiccup in the standard’s development came after several groups complained about the narrow makeup of the committee. These groups included the Building Owners and Managers Association International and the American Institute of Steel Construction Inc.
ASHRAE attendees said they are eager for a green standard. “We definitely need 189,” said George Austin, principal with Schultz Engineering Group, Charlotte, N.C. “Jurisdictions try to enforce LEED as a building code,” even though the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system is not intended as a code, he said.
Brendan Owens, vice president of LEED technical development at the U.S. Green Building Council, which is working with ASHRAE on developing the standard along with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, said a green building standard could be a “tool that building code people could mandate in lieu of LEED.”
At the meeting, ASHRAE announced its intention to create an energy-labeling program for commercial buildings.
Also read the report of an ASHRAE Presidential ad hoc committee: "ASHRAE Building Energy Labeling Program": https://www.ashrae.org/docLib/20080714_ABELreport_July2008.pdf
New Standard 189 Committee to Hold First Meeting in Chicago at ASHRAE Winter Conference
Atlanta, GA - January 23, 2009 (ASHRAE Press Release) The newly expanded committee tasked with writing the nation’s first standard on high-performing green buildings has begun work again. The committee for proposed Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will hold its first meeting at ASHRAE’s 2009 Winter Conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 8 a.m. “The committee for Standard 189.1 is stronger than ever,” says Kent Peterson, chair of the Standard 189.1 committee and ASHRAE Presidential Member. “The new committee roster brings a wide spectrum of green building expertise to bear on the standard’s content in keeping with ASHRAE’s commitment to excellence in consensus standards development. ASHRAE and its partners look forward to working with the new committee to develop guidance that will minimize a building’s impact on the environment.”
Full release: http://www.ashrae.org/pressroom/detail/17024
Obama seeks green building advice from UK
London, UK - January 23, 2009 (Building) - The Obama administration is to turn to the UK and Europe for advice on how to regulate green building in the US. A steering group on climate change, energy and sustainability that will form environmental strategies for Barack Obama, who was inaugurated as president on Tuesday, is considering implementing UK initiatives such as the Climate Change Act and the Code for Sustainable Homes.
D.C. green building law hits enforcement snag
Washington, DC - January 23, 2009 (Environmental News Network) - One of a handful of laws in the US requiring private buildings to meet LEED standards, legislation passed in 2006 in Washington, D.C., may be unenforceable as currently written. According to theWashington Business Journal, the D.C. Department of Environment is working to address a complaint from the surety industry, which issues bonds that guarantee the completion of construction projects.
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 established as US national reference by DOE
Washington, DC - December 30, 2008 - The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a determination that ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings" would achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings subject to the code, than the 1999 edition (Standard 90.1-1999 or the 1999 edition). The quantitative analysis of the energy consumption of buildings built to Standard 90.1-2004, as compared with buildings built to Standard 90.1-1999, indicates national source energy savings of approximately 3.9 percent of commercial building energy consumption. Visit the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 page for details see http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/determinations_90.1-2004.stm. View the complete determination notice that appeared in the US Federal Register on December 30, 2008, see http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/pdfs/FR_com_notice_90.1-2004.pdf
Standard 90.1-2004 has been established by the DOE as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Policy Act. The Act requires all states to certify that they have state energy codes in place that are at least as stringent as 90.1-2004, or justify why they cannot comply.
Green building sets the code (in more US cities)
Seattle, WA - December 29, 2008 (Sustainable Industries newsletter) In San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill requiring all new construction to meet green building standards starting in 2012, the city’s chief building inspector, Laurence Kornfield, says it’s not just in California where things are changing. Building codes across the country are undergoing a sea change.
Open Call for Members for SPC 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
Atlanta, GA - November 21, 2008 (ASHRAE) - A Call for Members is being issued for SPC 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, to better address the varied areas covered in the proposed standard. Persons who are interested in serving on this project committee are asked to indicate their interest and obtain the necessary forms from http://www.ashrae.org/technoloyg/page/97 or from Angela McFarlin, ASHRAE 1791 Tullie Circle, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329-2305; phone 678-539-1177; fax 678-539-2177, email: email@example.com.
Full release: http://www.ashrae.org/docLib/200811211_sanov212008.pdf
BRE Global Launches New Framework Standard For Responsible Sourcing Of Construction Products
ASTM Committee E60 to Develop Sustainability Standards That Will Drive Mainstream Market Implementation
West Conshohocken, PA (Press Release) - ASTM International, one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, today announced the formation of ASTM Committee E60 on Sustainability. This new standards development initiative results from the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and cross industry stakeholders who share mutual goals for global sustainable development.
Green Building Initiative™ Announces Second Public Comment Period for Proposed US National Standard
Portland, OR - October 24, 2008 (Press Release) - Today, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) announced that its proposed American National Standard for commercial green buildings will be released for a second letter ballot and public review period. The proposed American National Standard, officially known as "GBI Proposed American National Standard 01-200XP: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings," is based on the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system.
Giant ‘Hiccup’ Delays US Green Building Standard
Atlanta, GA - October 22, 2008 (ENR Magazine) - In what came as a surprise to many and a relief to some, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc. is “reconstituting” its two-year-old committee developing the nation’s first green-building standard. The move will delay publication of the “Standard for the Design Of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” beyond the original year-end target date.
Federal Judge Puts Albuquerque's Green Building Code on Hold
UK Introduces First International Standard for Building Life Cycle Costing
London, UK - September 25, 2008 (BSI Press Release) - The first international standard for property life cycle costing, BS ISO 15686-5, has been adopted in the UK. Developed by industry and in consultation with 17 countries, it is expected to have a major impact on all future construction procurement - particularly major investment and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private partnership (PPP) projects.
Rating Green Buildings
W.Conshohocken, PA - September 23, 2008 (ASTM Standardization News) - In the movement toward more sustainable buildings, green building rating programs play their part, as do standards on sustainability.
Read the full article by Cicely Enright on ASTM initiatives at: http://www.astm.org/SNEWS/SO_2008/enright_so08.html
History of Green Building Rating Systems in Canada
87% of Surveyed US Homebuilders Want "Minimum" Green Building Standard
Oak Brook, IL - September 1, 2008 - In its 2008 survey of the green homebuilding market, the editors of Professional Builder magazine posed several questions on topics including the role of standards .....
"Should there be a minimum standard of performance and sustainability before a builder can market a home as green? Both this year and last, 87 percent of those surveyed said yes. A big surprise last year was that 38 percent of those who said yes felt there should be a minimum standard set by federal, state or local government. Perhaps after giving this some consideration, this year only 29 percent said so. But those suggesting the federal government only slipped 2 percent, from 15 to 13 percent. Among those who said they market all their homes as green, only 20 percent are looking to government to set those standards. This makes sense because they are actively building green homes, and the standards that the government sets will directly affect them; it's not theoretical. Those who said the standard should be set by an independent third-party program rose to 44 percent from only 32 percent last year".
See the full report at: http://www.housingzone.com/probuilder/article/CA6590396.html
Green Standards and Contract Issues Explained
August 31, 2008 (GoStructural.com) - Michael J. Baker, Esq.
Q: The current trend is moving toward green building design, as well as toward the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards being implemented throughout the country. What is the legal impact of all of these standards?
A: In California alone, more than 120 localities have adopted mandatory green building standards, which form a recent wave of new laws. These laws typically encompass LEED standards—which have become a benchmark in many jurisdictions for green building regulations and associated requirements. Nonetheless, there appears to be a number of competing threads in different building standards, and none of the localities, as well as federal and state agencies, appear to be striving for one set of coherent comprehensive building regulation standards. Instead, they're simply jumping on the green building band wagon. Regrettably, some of the trend toward adoption of green building standards can be attributed to election year promises to reduce the anticipated future carbon footprint of many municipalities; and many of the new measures seem to come with little concern for the impact of the new regulation on the construction industry or the eventual end users of the buildings. In this case, as with most legal questions, you need to be diligent in learning what green laws govern in your project's jurisdiction.
Full interview at: http://www.gostructural.com/article.asp?id=3102
National Green Building Standard - Engaging the industry
August 15, 2008 (from "Builder" magazine by Rich Binsacca)
With the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) expected approval of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), work is underway to integrate the new standard into local and national green building programs, municipal versions of the International Building Codes, and the memory banks of building inspectors nationwide.
Local NAHB chapters are chomping at the bit. “There were a few HBAs waiting to incorporate the new standard into new [local] green building programs,” says Tom Kennedy, vice president of engineering and research for the NAHB Research Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., who oversaw the yearlong development of the standard for ANSI approval. “Others are considering whether to adopt or update their existing programs [with the NGBS].”
Assisting in both scenarios, as well as offering verifier services, helping create a provider network, and working with the NAHB to build the standard into its National Green Building Program, will keep the Research Center staff busy.
Meanwhile, the International Code Council (ICC), a co-producer of the NGBS, designated the new standard as ICC-700 and will incorporate it into its next code books. ICC will also offer training to familiarize building inspectors with the NGBS as state and local code authorities consider incorporating it into their existing residential, energy, and other appropriate building codes.
For continually updated information about the NGBS and the NAHB’s other green building–related activities, go to www.nahbgreen.org.
Sustainability is Focus of New ASTM Standards Development Activity
West Conshohocken, PA - August 13, 2008 (Press Release) - ASTM International has announced the planned formation of a new technical committee on sustainability. An organizational meeting for the new standards writing committee will be held Oct.1, 2008, in Miami, FL. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a longtime leader in sustainability-related programs, selected ASTM International as the home for this important new initiative. The planned scope for the new main ASTM technical committee will focus on the stimulation of research and the creation of standards related to sustainability – that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the future.
Full release at: http://annex4.astm.org/BroadcastEmailAttachments/NewCommitteeE60August2008.doc
New ISO standard for safe, long-lasting building, engineering and industrial structures
Genčve, CH - August 7, 2008 (Press Release) - ISO has published a new standard to help engineers, builders and regulators to design structures that are safe and resistant to failure due to environmental and mechanical stresses, and to material degradation.
Full release: http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1146
CSA Seeks Industry Support for Deconstruction Standard
Toronto, ON - August 7, 2008 (Daily Commercial News) - The Canadian Standards Association is seeking support from industry stakeholders to kick-start development of a national standard on “deconstruction” of existing buildings.
Full article at: http://dcnonl.com/article/id29710
International Code Council Creates Sustainable Building Technology Committee
Washington, DC - July 24, 2008 (Press Release) - The International Code Council Board at its July 19 meeting approved the creation of a Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) to support its many ongoing efforts in green, sustainable and safe construction.
Full release at: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/nr/2008/0724green.html
California Adopts First Statewide “Green” Building Code in the U.S.
Sacramento, CA - July 17, 2008 - Today, the California Building Standards Commission announced the unanimous adoption of the first statewide “green” building code in the United States. (The Commission is part of the California State and Consumer Services Agency). The code is a direct result of Governor Schwarzenegger's direction to the Commission and will lead to improved energy efficiency and reduced water consumption in all new construction throughout the state, while also reducing the carbon footprint of every new structure in California. The code will be included in the 2008 edition of Title 24, the California Building Code. The first version of the green building code, Part 11 of Title 24, is a set of voluntary standards, designed to educate the public about green building practices. It will become mandatory during the next building code revision cycle due to be completed in 2010.
Read the official release at: http://www.scsa.ca.gov/news/pdf/Press_Release_071708.pdf
Industry Groups Launch Legal Challenge to Albuquerque Green Building Code
New York, NY - July 15, 2008 (GBNYC) - Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Energy Conservation Codes were signed into law back in January, but their implementation was delayed until July 1 after industry groups voiced concerns during the spring that the Codes were, among other things, preempted by federal law. The Codes purported to raise the standards on the installation of HVAC equipment for all new and retrofit commercial and residential projects to a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (”SEER”) of 15 (for air conditioning) and an annual fuel utilization efficiency (”AFUE”) of 90 percent (for heating). The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International, and 11 HVAC product distributors and contractors, alleges that because current U.S. Department of Energy minimum standards for energy efficiency for the same equipment that the Albuquerque Codes seek to regulate are lower (13 SEER and 78 AFUE), the city must obtain a waiver of preemption from the federal government in order to enforce the stricter local codes.
Full article at: http://www.greenbuildingsnyc.com/2008/07/15/industry-groups-launch-legal-challenge-to-albuquerque-green-building-codes/
UK Green Building Council Promises Open Source Sustainability Code
Open the Floodgates: The Era of Green Building Litigation
Philadelphia, PA - July 11, 2008 (Green Building Law) - Until now, there has been little, if any, active litigation related to the rash of green building regulations passed in the past few years. That changed July 3 when a new era of environmental litigation began. A group of HVAC and water heating equipment trade organizations, contractors and distributors sued the City of Albuquerque in federal district court to stop parts of the city's high performance building code from taking effect.
Full column at: http://greenerbuildings.com/column/2008/07/11/open-floodgates-the-era-green-building-litigation
Vancouver Introduces Most Sweeping Residential Green Building Changes in North America
Vancouver, BC - June 26, 2008 (Press Release) - City Council has unanimously approved changes to the Vancouver Building By-law for one- and two-family dwellings. The changes - which are more stringent than the province's proposed "BC Green Building Code" - come into effect on September 5th, 2008. When implemented, they will be the most stringent in North America.
Full report at: http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20080626/documents/pe5.pdf
"Cracking the Code" - 2030 Challenge Releases GHG Reduction Guide for Existing Codes and Standards
Santa Fe, NM - June 23, 2008 - In a major announcement today, Architecture 2030 released an unprecedented and much anticipated guide for every city, county and state in the United States to swiftly meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets through existing building codes. Architecture 2030 is the non-profit research organization that issued the 2030 Challenge, the widely adopted plan for dramatically reducing GHG emissions in the Building Sector. Published in a new white paper, titled “Meeting the 2030 Challenge Through Building Codes”, a single chart provides the key to deciphering various building energy codes and consensus standards as they relate to the immediate 50% reduction target called for in the 2030 Challenge.
Download the report at: http://www.architecture2030.org/pdfs/2030Challenge_Codes_WP.pdf
Canadian Green Building Market Expands to 13% of Non-Res Total
Toronto, ON - June 23, 2008 - A new report on green building in Canada estimates the size of the market to be 13% of total non-residential project activity. The report charted 350 projects started over a three year period and valued at more than $9.8 billion. Copies of the report can be obtained on request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address.
US High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Formed to Advance Standards
Washington, DC - June 18, 2007- Representatives of the Congress, administrators from the US Department of Energy, and members of the building industry gathered on Capitol Hill to introduce the new leadership of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus and discuss the current state of the US building stock. The centerpiece of the briefing was the Assessment to the US Congress and US Department of Energy on High-Performance Buildings, a report prepared by the High-Performance Building Council, a group of over 100 public and private sector organizations. The report was authored by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) who were directed: "to explore the potential for accelerating and supporting the development of consensus-based voluntary standards for producing more energy-efficient, less resource-intensive,'high-performance buildings'.”
Download a copy of the HPBCC report by clicking on this link: http://www.sbicouncil.org/associations/8388/files/HPBCFinalReport.pdf
Visit the HPBCC at: http://xp20.ashrae.org/hpbccc/index.htm
ISO Establishes Sustainability Principles for Building Construction Sector Worldwide
Geneva, CH - May 27, 2008 - The new ISO 15392:2008 standard establishes internationally recognized principles for sustainability in building construction. It thus provides a common basis for communication between stakeholders such as builders and architects, product manufacturers and designers, building owners, policy makers and regulators, housing authorities, and consumers.
Mandatory New Home Energy Ratings Take Effect in the UK
Green Building Initiative™ releases proposed American National Standard for public comment
Portland, OR - April 30, 2008 - After nearly two years of work by close to 100 building science experts, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) has released its proposed green building standard—known as the "GBI Proposed American National Standard 01-2008P: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings"—for public comment. Accessible via the GBI Web site, the proposed standard is based on the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system and will be available for public comment through Monday, June 9, 2008.
"This is the first time that an organization has committed its commercial building rating system to further development through the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) third-party codified, consensus-based committee process—which represents the ideals of balance, transparency and public input," said Ward Hubbell, president of the GBI. "We're extremely pleased to be a step closer to establishing the Green Globes system as an official standard under ANSI and welcome the opportunity to have the public provide substantive input to the 30-member technical committee."
National Green Building Standard Closer to the Finish Line
Washington, DC - March 20, 2008 - Balloting is now complete for the new National Green Building Standard, the joint International Code Council-NAHB project that will maintain the flexibility of green building practices while providing a common national benchmark for builders, remodelers and developers. The latest public comment period closed Feb. 4 and committee members sorted through more than 600 new comments before submitting their ballots. The standard is now in the mandatory 30-day appeals period.
BRE Global launches consultation for a Responsible Sourcing Framework Standard
Watford, UK - March 20, 2008 - BRE Global are creating a new product standard that will provide a level playing field for the sustainability of construction products. The framework will take into account specific environmental, economic and social impacts and provide recognition for suppliers embracing genuine sustainability.
The proposed scheme will assess products by focussing on responsible sourcing and product stewardship, addressing the social, economic and environmental impacts of construction products over their whole life.
Bush Energy Bill Taps GSA to 'Green' the Building Industry
Washington, DC - March 20, 2008 - Federal influence on sustainable real estate practices in the private sector is poised to increase considerably as government officials begin implementing measures from the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, signed into law by President Bush in December.
The bill, which also set new national fuel economy standards for automakers, paints a clearer picture going forward on federal interest in "greening" the U.S. building stock.
For instance, it allocates more than $1 billion of federal funds over the next decade to catalyze the private sector around improving energy efficiency in buildings, and establishes the Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiative, which sets a national goal of carbon neutrality in all commercial buildings by 2050.
UK Government urged to relax zero carbon building standard
London, UK - March 13, 2008 - The UK's leading green building trade group has warned that the government will not meet its new target to ensure all new non domestic buildings are zero carbon by 2019 unless it adopts a more flexible definition of zero carbon.
Under new plans announced in yesterday's budget, chancellor Alistair Darling said the government will launch a consultation on the new target's feasibility, adding that the policy would save approximately 75m tonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years.
Meanwhile, public sector buildings will face a more demanding target of ensuring all new facilities are zero carbon from 2018.
To support both the new target for non-domestic buildings and the existing target of making all new homes zero carbon from 2016, Darling said that the government would provide funding to set up a new delivery unit designed to monitor and co-ordinate progress towards the targets. The unit, which will launch later this year, will work with the construction industry to address the obstacles currently hampering development of zero carbon buildings such as green building skills shortages and supply chain issues.
The moves were welcomed by the UK Green Building Council (GBC), which said the targets were "ambitious, but entirely feasible".
However, GBC spokesman John Alker said that the targets could not be met unless the government adopts a flexible definition on what constitutes a zero carbon building.
BRE Global and UK-Green Building Council to partner on BREEAM
Watford, UK - February 25, 2008 - BRE Global and the UK Green Building Council have today announced that they will work together to further develop and promote BREEAM – taking the tool to the next level in a rapidly moving market.
BRE Global and UK-GBC will work together to:
- accelerate and broaden the take up of BREEAM tools throughout the industry
- make BREEAM tools increasingly more challenging as fast as the market will bear
- capture and benchmark best practice and disseminate that learning
- facilitate benchmarking of leading measurement systems internationally, working proactively with other Green Building Councils and the World Green Building Council
- facilitate mutual recognition by leading measurement systems, cross-licensing and collaborative development of new tools and techniques for enhancing the sustainability of the built environment
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK-GBC said “BREEAM is long established and well respected, but must continue to innovate and develop if it is to serve the needs of this dynamic sector. We want to see radically improved uptake of BREEAM and ensure we facilitate learning on best practice from Green Building Councils around the world. Carol Atkinson, Chief Executive of BRE Global said “We are delighted to work with and have the support of the UK-GBC in this.”
ASHRAE Standard 189.1P Second Public Review Draft Available
Atlanta, GA - February 22, 2008 - BSR/ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Standard 189.1P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is scheduled for a 45-day public review and comment period from February 22, 2008 through April 7, 2008. This is the second full public review of Standard 189.1 as a result of comments received from the first full public review. This is a US national standard for high-performance green non-residential and hi-rise residential buildings. Standard 189.1 addresses site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.
See: http://www.ashrae.org/technology/page/331 (and scroll down)
New Green Standard Great News For Home Buyers And Builders, NAHB Says
Orlando, FL - February 15, 2008 - The new National Green Building Standard will maintain the flexibility of green building practices while providing a common national benchmark for builders, remodelers and developers – another big step for the green building movement, said panelists today at a news conference during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. The first and only true consensus-based standard for residential green building is in its final comment period and almost ready for prime time, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The National Green Building Standard is expected to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and published by NAHB and the International Code Council (ICC) early this spring, a panel of builders and those involved in the standards process told reporters. The ANSI process ensures that the best technical reviews were used to create the standard.
Standards for High-Performance Building in the Works
New York, NY - January 31, 2008 - In the not too distant future there could be two U.S. standards for green buildings. Later this spring, the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), in conjunction with two other industry organizations, is planning to release for public comment a second draft of its standard for high-performance buildings. Meanwhile, the three-year-old non-profit Green Building Initiative (GBI) is also working toward establishing its Green Globes rating system for commercial buildings as an official standard. Both organizations are following the protocols of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and expect to release fully completed and approved documents by the end of 2008.
Sustainable Building Standard Expected by Year-End
Atlanta, GA – January 23, 2008 - The first U.S. standard for high-performance buildings could be released by the end of the year, according to one of the codevelopers of the standard, called Sustainability in Building Codes, ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Standard 189.1P.
ICC/NAHB Green Residential Building Standard Comment Period Resumes
Upper Marlboro, MD – December 21, 2007 - The consensus committee for the National Green Building Standard met in Washington, December 3rd and 4th to review public and committee member comments on the draft of the standard that was released August 10th. The draft is now being updated to reflect the changes that were approved and is now open for a 45-day comment period. Interested parties can see the draft standard by linking to: http://www.nahbrc.org/technical/standards/greenbuilding.aspx
ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Committee on Green Non-Residential Building Meets
Atlanta, GA - December 13, 2007 - The joint committee that is drafting SPC 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, under ASHRAE auspices will hold an interim meeting on December 13-14, 2007 in Dallas, Texas. For additional information please contact the Chair of SPC 189.1, John Hogan, at John.Hogan@seattle.gov.
Online Green Certification Tool Ready for a Test Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD - December 3, 2007 (Press Release) - The NAHBGreen online certification program for green building projects is open for business — as long as users don’t mind a few links that go nowhere yet. The certification tool at www.nahbgreen.org will be part of the NAHB National Green Building Program when the initiative is launched on February 14th at the International Builders' Show. Right now, the home builders associations and individual builders who are piloting the program are taking the tool for a test drive, and the NAHB Research Center, which developed the new tool, is inviting other interested participants to try it out as well. When the Web site is finished, it will include a wide variety of resources and education as builders work to go green — as well as a directory of green builders, green projects and local green building programs.
AIA Releases Study of Local US Green Building Programmes
Washington, DC - December 3, 2007 (Press Release) - The American Institute of Architects' "Local Leaders Report" examines the current state of green building laws in American cities as of 2007. Since 2003 the number of cities with green building programs has increased greater than 400%, due to a concerted effort by local political leaders, officials, architects and others within the design/building industry, and grassroots support. The primary goal of this analysis is to provide a tool for communities as well as other levels of government that seek to design green building programs in the future. It is based on research conducted by the AIA on all American cities with a population greater than 50,000 (661 communities) to spotlight the growth and effectiveness of green building policies.See: http://www.aia.org/adv_localleaders
Canadian Standards Association promotes new solutions for sustainable buildings at York University’s Schulich Executive Learning Centre
Toronto, ON - November 26, 2007 - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading solutions provider and developer of standards and codes, is hosting a two-day workshop at the Executive Learning Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University, November 26-27 focussing on the future of sustainable buildings in Canada.See: http://www.csa.ca/news/announcements/default.asp?articleID=9193&language=english
The Collaborating on Standards Solutions: Sustainable Buildings in Canada workshop will begin to establish a common vision for sustainable buildings in Canada while identifying gaps, as well as issues and challenges that need to be addressed. Key experts and influencers from diverse sectors will be in attendance to hear presentations by the Chief Energy Conservation Officer of Ontario and representatives of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment, the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada, the ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute and others to examine how national standards solutions can help to support sustainable building transformation.
New Credentialing Organization Launched for Green Building Professionals
Washington, DC – November 19, 2007 – A newly incorporated entity, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), has been established with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council to administer credentialing programs related to green building practice and standards. GBCI was created to develop and administer credentialing programs aimed at improving green building practice. "Credentialing programs support the application of proven strategies for increasing and measuring the performance of buildings and communities as defined by industry systems such as the LEED Green Building Rating Systems," commented Peter Templeton, Vice President of Education & Research, U.S. Green Building Council. GBCI will ensure that the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) program will continue to be developed in accordance with best practices for credentialing programs. To underscore this commitment, GBCI will undergo the ANSI accreditation process for personnel certification agencies complying with ISO Standard 17024.
New ISO Standard Encourages Sustainability in Building Construction
Geneva, CH - November 16, 2007 - (Press Release) A new ISO standard will help to ensure that urbanization, which is a global trend, develops in an environmentally friendly manner. “ISO 21930:2007, Sustainability in building construction – Environmental declaration of building products, will be a very helpful tool for the designers of buildings, manufacturers of building products, users of buildings, owners of buildings and others active in the building and construction sector who are increasingly demanding information that enables them address environmental impacts of buildings and other construction works”, declares Jacques Lair, leader of the team of ISO experts that developed the standard. The building construction industry is recognized as a major employer but also as a sector that is responsible for generating a large amount of waste and pollution. It is estimated that the building industry is responsible for approximately 40 % of the waste in European countries. A major improvement has to take place in building industry, if the goals of the Rio and Kyoto Conferences shall be fullfilled. The standard describes the principles and framework for environmental declarations of building products, taking into consideration the complete life cycle of a building. ISO 21930 is expected to form the basis for Type III environmental declaration programmes of building products as described in ISO 14025:2006, Environmental labels and declarations - Type III environmental declarations - Principles and procedures.See:http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1087
Online Public Review of British Columbia “Green” Code Changes
Victoria, BC – November 15, 2007 – The Building and Safety Policy Branch, at the Ministry of Housing announced that it is seeking public input on three proposals for changes to the BC Building Code. The proposals will improve the energy efficiency of new single family homes, small apartments and small non-residential buildings; the energy efficiency of high-rise apartments and large non-residential buildings; and introduce water-efficiency requirements to the BC Building Code. The online public review period is open until December 21st.
If You Verify, They Will Buy: Refining Green Home Standards
New Orleans, LA – November 14, 2007 (ENR Magazine) - The National Association of Homebuilders is running a trial of a new, verifiable, green residential construction certification program built around the association's Green Building Guidelines. The test, which will run through the end of the year, is part of a drive to establish standards, but it is also spurring acceptance of green construction materials and methods nationwide. The trial is focused on projects in a dozen locations around the country. The association will test the methodology in diverse regions and climates, from the Pacific Northwest to the urban Northeast to the Gulf Coast. Participants say the pilot program is helping builders and designers introduce new details and technology to a broad audience.
Hearings Move Green Standard Closer to Expected 2008 Approval
Washington, DC – November 12, 2007 (Nation’s Building News) – Three days of hearings in late October have brought home builders one step closer to the nation’s first and only consensus-based residential green building standard. The proposed National Green Building Standard, based on the NAHB Model Green Homebuilding Guidelines, is being prepared by a committee of industry stakeholders led by NAHB and the International Code Council and is expected to be approved by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, in early 2008. Members received a staggering 1,100 public comments covering a wide range of topics contained in the standard, which addresses single- and multifamily building, lot and site development and residential remodeling.
(Mis)Understanding Green Products: A dizzying array of green product certification protocols are overwhelming the building industry
November 5, 2007 (Business Week) - Stan Rhodes, the president and C.E.O. of Scientific Certification Systems, or SCS, certifies building products. He's been doing it since 1984. You bring him carpet you think is sustainable and he'll certify it against the new NSF 140 Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard. Bring him anything and he'll likely find a standard, somewhere, to use for certification. There are thousands of standards, most of which are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), so Rhodes is in no danger of running out of work. But today, Rhodes doesn't want to talk about standards or certification. If you're talking sustainability, Rhodes says, so-called green building products don't much matter in the scheme of things.
Battling codes and standards makes going green confusing for builders
Toronto, ON – November 1, 2007 (Daily Commercial News) - While a multitude of individual codes and standards are applied in the creation of a sustainable, high-performance, “green” building in Canada, there is yet to be an overall standard that applies to the performance of the building as a whole.
Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill to Make LEED Standard
Sacramento, CA – October 14, 2007
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 35 without my signature. I support the development of green building standards and share the goals of this bill. However, if implemented provisions in this bill would create a bias for certain building materials over others without a clear benefit. For instance, the use of California wood building construction materials is highly discouraged in favor of foreign grown bamboo and wheatgrass. Additionally, building standards should not be statutory. The Building Standards Commission was created to ensure an open public adoption process allowing experts to develop standards and periodic updates to the building codes. Allowing private entities, such as proposed in this bill, to dictate California's building standards usurps the state's authority to develop and adopt those standards and could compromise the health and safety of Californians. I encourage state agencies to review all nationally recognized programs and glean from those programs, standards that promote greener construction, energy and water conservation, and reduce Green House Emissions. It is imperative to expedite the greening of California's building standards. As such, I am directing the California Building Standards Commission to work with specified state agencies on the adoption of green building standards for residential, commercial, and public building construction for the 2010 code adoption process.
First Comment Period for Green Standard Closes
Washington, DC – September 24, 2007 (Nation’s Building News) – The first public comment period for the proposed residential green building standard closes today as NAHB moves closer to creating a green certification protocol for single-family and multifamily homes, lot and site development and residential remodeling. The comments pertain to the draft version of the standard now posted on the NAHB Research Center’s web site. The draft was available for 45 days in accordance with procedures set by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI. That organization has established rules for consensus and public comment to ensure that the standard represents the combined vision of the participants — including home builders, suppliers, environmental advocates and government officials. The draft standard is based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, but has been reshaped by committee members who have been working since last spring in task groups assigned to study specific components of the guidelines and make recommendations for change.
Draft Standard Nearly Ready for Public Comments
Washington, DC – July 23, 2007 (Nation’s Building News) - Three months after they first convened, members of the National Green Building Standard consensus committee continue to motor through the tasks at hand, keeping them on schedule to debut the first green standard for single-family and multifamily building, site development and residential remodeling at the International Builders Show in February. Most recently, the committee met on July 9 to 13 at the National Housing Center to discuss 360 separate proposals made by the seven task groups that are each working on different aspects of the standard — from energy (which included 136 new proposals) and water and resource efficiency to point determinations.
Eco-tough San Francisco code proposed for buildings
San Francisco, CA – July 11, 2007 (The San Francisco Chronicle) - San Francisco will impose the nation's most environmentally rigorous building standards if officials agree to new recommendations from a task force convened by Mayor Gavin Newsom. Many local governments require publicly funded buildings to follow some environmental guidelines. But San Francisco's proposed standards, which will be announced at a news conference today, also would affect private developers and commercial projects. Boston is the only large U.S. city that has mandatory environmental standards covering private construction, although those requirements aren't as sweeping as the ones proposed for San Francisco.
For a copy of “The Mayor’s Task Force on Green Building for the City and County of San Francisco” see:
Statistics Canada Releases Households and the Environment Survey
Ottawa, ON – July 11, 2007 (Press Release) - Canadian households have responded to a number of environmental concerns, but still engage in many practices that can have a negative impact on the environment, according to new data from Statistics Canada’s “Households and the Environment Survey”. The survey found that close to 6 in 10 households now use compact fluorescent bulbs, and over 4 in 10 have a programmable thermostat, up considerably in recent years. More households composted, and more also had water-saving showerheads and toilets. Other aspects of household behaviour have not changed greatly since the survey was last conducted during the mid-1990s.
NAHB to Launch National Green Building Program
Washington, DC - June 14, 2007 (Press Release) - The board of directors of the National Association of Home Builders has approved the creation of a national green building program to provide a template for voluntary, market-driven green building all over the country. The vote came during the NAHB Spring Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 10. The new program will be based on the National Green Building Standard, a model for residential construction and renovation written by builders, architects, environmentalists and product experts that will be released in early 2008.
Minnesota Energy Act Recognizes LEED, Green Globes and Energy Star
St. Paul, MN – June 6, 2007 (BD+C Magazine) – The passage of Minnesota’s “Next Generation Energy Act of 2007” sets a state goal of certifying 100 commercial buildings to the Green Globes or U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard by December 31, 2010, and mandates utilities to include in their conservation improvement plans programs that facilitate professional engineering verification to qualify a building as Green Globes-certified, Energy Star-labeled or LEED-certified.
Draft US Green Building Standard Released for Public Comment
Atlanta, GA – May 25, 2007 (ASHRAE) - The 1st public review draft of ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Standard 189P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is now available for review and comment. The 45-day public review extends from May 25, 2007 through July 7, 2007. See: http://www.ashrae.org/technology/page/331
This is the first edition of ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Standard 189. This is a standard for high-performance green buildings. It is not a rating system, though it could be incorporated as the baseline in a green building rating system. It addresses sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, the building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). These five key subject areas, as well as construction and operation, are each addressed in a separate chapter using the following format:
- General: This subsection includes a statement of scope and addresses other broad issues.
- Compliance Paths: This subsection indicates the compliance options for each section.
- Mandatory Provisions: This subsection contains the criteria that must be complied with by all projects (i.e. the criteria that can not be traded off).
- Prescriptive Option: This subsection contains additional criteria specified in a manner that provides a simple way to show compliance that involves little or no calculations.
- Performance Option: This subsection contains an alternate way to show compliance that is typically based on equivalence to the Prescriptive Option.
- Submittals: This subsection lists information needed to show compliance with the Mandatory Provisions, and Prescriptive and Performance Options.
This standard is meant to be used in conjunction with ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, and ASHRAE Standards 62.1-2007 and 55-2004. Where a requirement is contained herein, this requirement supersedes the requirements in those standards. For all other criteria, the project is to comply with the requirements in those standards. Following approval, this standard is expected to be placed on continuous maintenance, permitting the standard to be updated through the publication of approved addenda to the standard. The standard is expected to be republished in its entirety every third year. All approved addenda and errata will be included in the new edition.
Talks off, standard bodies say
Toronto, ON – May 16, 2007 (DCN) - Collaboration between Canada’s two leading green building certification bodies is on the back burner for now, group representatives say. The Canada Green Building Council and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) negotiated for nearly 18 months, according to Ian Theaker, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program manager with the CaGBC. “We opened discussions with BOMA for a memorandum of understanding (MOU),” Theaker said. Topics included “sorting out where we should be positioning different building rating systems.” Deb Cross, executive vice-president of BOMA Canada, confirms that BOMA was talking with the CaGBC about an MOU to recognize each other’s programs. “Unfortunately it didn’t come to pass,” she says.
Full report: http://dcnonl.com/article/id20900&search_term=boma
State board hopes to change green building standard
Carson City, NV – May 10, 2007 (AP) There's a move under way to change the "green" building standards required of any new state buildings, a mandate that falls under an extensive 2005 law now under scrutiny for its large tax breaks. Representatives of the state Public Works Board say they will meet Thursday with Gov. Jim Gibbons to talk about the required certification system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, managed by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council. They expect to produce a white paper on the topic next week. The PWB representatives say most of LEED's requirements don't provide a payback for taxpayers - a claim disputed by the council, which says its standards provide a public and economic benefit. "We are discussing an alternative approach. What we came to realize is that the lawmakers were maybe being misinformed or misled as to what the LEED program was and what it would do for this state," said Bruce Nipp, chief of design for the PWB.Full report:
Toronto, ON – May 8, 2007 – GreenStandard.ca is launched; a web site that advocates the development of a CSA standard for sustainable, high-performance “green” building in Canada. The request for a standard was submitted by Marsh Leslie, a CSA consumer representative.
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