Obama Administration Authorized to Take Action on American Building Stock
The report was prepared by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Van Ness Feldman and sponsored by groups including the Real Estate Roundtable, the Energy Foundation, the American Institute of Architects, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 4/30/2010 12:00:00 AM
A new report by the United States Green Building Council and national energy, housing, environmental, and real estate organizations is sounding the alarm on America's building stock while citing the many ways in which the Obama Administration can step up on the energy efficiency and sustainability of America's multifamily and commercial buildings.
Entitled "Using Executive Authority to Achieve Greener Buildings: A Guide for Policymakers to Enhance Sustainability and Efficiency in Mulitfamily Housing and Commercial Buildings," the study concludes that the current presidential administration has the unprecedented ability to use over 30 existing federal programs worth $72 billion to enhance efficiency in commercial buildings and multifamily housing with no new legislation needed.
The report was prepared by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Van Ness Feldman and sponsored by the Real Estate Roundtable, UDR, Johnson Controls, the Energy Foundation, Building Owners and Managers Association International, the American Institute of Architects, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, International Facility Management Association, Energy Future Coalition, and C3.
“As an early adopter of green buildings and the LEED green building certification system, the federal government has been a leader in bringing green buildings to cities and towns across America,” said Roger Platt, USGBC's senior vice president of global policy and law. “This new report unveils an even larger opportunity for the Obama Administration to increase our nation’s energy efficiency, while creating thousands of jobs and saving taxpayers money.”
The report cites an extensive array of options which it says the Obama Administration could begin implementing immediately without having to seek new funds or authority from Congress. It states that some of the most promising options with the largest reach are reforming appraisal and underwriting practices at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; greening federal banking regulation; integrating energy efficiency and sustainability criteria into competitive grants and funding formula; strengthening minimum property standards for federal housing and economic development programs to reflect energy efficiency and sustainability standards; improving performance standards applicable to federal buildings and leases; and refining guidance applicable to the energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction and the national historic preservation tax credit.
The full report can be downloaded at www.usgbc.org/government .