Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day: Looking Forward

As Earth Day comes to a close, let's take a quick look at what we might see on Earth Days to come:

Earth Day Future (near term) -- Earlier this week, we looked at green building-related bills that passed the Maryland General Assembly.  One that didn't may well get passed by next Earth Day: SB 479, a bill that would have permitted the use of Green Globes to attain sufficient performance under the High Performance Buildings Act, failed to get a floor vote in the House after passing the Senate 47-0.  Federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, are already using Green Globes certification to meet their green building goals, as an alternative to LEED.

Earth Day Future (long term) -- Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, fossil fuel use by newly constructed federal buildings will have to be completely eliminated by 2030.  Two new cutting-edge federal buildings coming on line this year -- a NASA facility in the Bay Area dubbed "Sustainability Base" and a Department of Energy building outside Denver -- provide us with a glimpse of how federal agencies plan to reach this goal.  Both intend to achieve net-zero energy usage and attain LEED Platinum certification.

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