Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Green news from Capitol Hill

Rep. Mike Doyle (D) of Pennsylvania recently re-introduced the High-Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007 (HR 121). The Act purports to improve the efficiency of the Federal Government by using green building in federal facilities and is a near carbon-copy of a bipartisan bill introduced in the 109th Congress.

To achieve its goal, the bill directs the GSA to establish an Office of High-Performance Green Buildings. The Office Director will be required to, among other things, establish a Green Building Advisory Committee, address public outreach and education, develop a research plan for high-performance green building, identify and develop green buildings standards for federal facilities, and address current budget and contracting practices that inhibit new and existing federal facilities from becoming high-performance green buildings.

Most importantly, the bill directs the Office Director to identify incentives to encourage the Federal Government to use green buildings and related green technologies.

The bill has been referred to various House Committees: Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Government Reform, Science and Technology, and Transportation and Infrastructure. The bill died in committee during the last Congress, but there is bipartisan support for green building initiatives and it will be interesting to see whether this bill gains traction in the new Democratically controlled Congress.

Update: A version of this bill (S. 506) was introduced by Senator Lautenberg (NJ) on February 6, 2007, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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