Walls & Ceilings - December 2009 - (Page 42)

straight GREEN BY CHRIS DIXON LEEEPing Toward Sustainability President Obama signed an executive order titled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance” (I’m calling it LEEEP because I can’t take FLEEEP seriously) October 5, 2009 “… to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for Federal agencies.” The stated policy in the EO reads like a super condensed version of a green building rating system: “It is therefore the policy of the United States that Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and storm water management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution; leverage agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products, and services; design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations; strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which Federal facilities are located.” The impact of LEEEP in the building and construction industry could be significant. According to a “2006 Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding,” the Federal government owns approximately 445,000 buildings with total floor space of over 3.0 billion square feet, in addition to leasing an additional 57,000 buildings comprising 374 million square feet of floor space. To put this in some perspective, it is estimated that the LEED green building rating system, from its beginning in 1998 until now, has “involved” more than 4 billion square feet of commercial construction. The word “involved” is used because only a small percentage of these buildings actually ever goes through the certification process, the majority are merely registered under LEED*. The EO was designed to show leadership by example, and if the goals of the EO can be met, many of them could eventually become the new standard for all buildings in the U.S. Energy Efficiency: • All new Federal buildings that enter the planning process are designed to achieve zero-net-energy by 2030; • All new construction, major renovation, or repair and alteration of Federal buildings complies with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings (Guiding Principles); [www1.eere. energy.gov/femp/program/sustainable_guidance.html]; • At least 15 percent of the agency’s existing buildings (above 5,000 gross square feet) and building leases (above 5,000 gross square feet) meet the Guiding Principles by fiscal year 2015. Water Use Efficiency: • Reduce potable water consumption intensity by2 percent annually through fiscal year 2020, or 26 percent by the end of fiscal year 2020; • Reduce agency industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption by 2 percent annually or 20 percent by the end of fiscal year 2020. Product Procurement: • Ensure that 95 percent of new contract actions for products and services are energy-efficient (Energy Star or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated), water-effi cient, biobased, environmentally preferable (e.g., Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certified), non-ozone depleting, contain recycled content, and or are nontoxic or less-toxic alternatives. Construction Waste: • Diverting at least 50 percent of construction and demolition materials and debris by the end of fiscal year 2015. LOFTY GOALS Meeting the goals and requirements contained in LEEEP will be hugely challenging. To kick things off, LEEEP requires that within 90 days, the head of each Federal agency is required to establish a percentage reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 associated with: • Reducing energy intensity in agency buildings; • Increasing agency use of renewable energy and implementing renewable energy generation projects; • Reducing the use of fossil fuels. Specific requirements are established within the EO across many of the categories found in current g re en bu i ld i ng rat i ng system s. Many of the goals contain squishy requirements such as “participate in,” “identify and analyze,” and “coordinate with.” But some of the requirements are explicit and measureable, including: EXECUTIVE ORDERS An Executive Order is a power conferred to the president by the U.S. Constitution. This power gives the president authority to unilaterally | Walls & Ceilings | December 2009 http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/sustainable_guidance.html http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/sustainable_guidance.html http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/sustainable_guidance.html

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Walls & Ceilings - December 2009

Walls & Ceilings - December 2009
Up Front
Trade News
Most Requested Products of 2009
Sixth Annual Excellence Awards
Move it on Up
City Central
The Finish Line
Smart Business
Trowel Talk
Straight Green
All in Agreement
Industry Voices
Information Showcase
Classified Marketplace
Advertiser Directory

Walls & Ceilings - December 2009