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White House works with state, local governments to bolster building performance standards

Building Team

White House works with state, local governments to bolster building performance standards

Effort circumvents gridlock on Capitol Hill and accounts for regional differences.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | April 20, 2022
Building Standards
Courtesy Pixabay

The former head of the U.S. Green Building Council says the Biden Administration’s formation of the National Building Performance Standards Coalition is a “tremendous” step in the right direction to raise building performance standards in the U.S.
 
This action, along with an effort to boost sustainability on federal properties, has the “potential to merge federal leadership and fiscal resources with lower governments’ capacities for experimentation and execution,” writes Mahesh Ramanujam, former USGBC CEO. The coalition could achieve much while circumventing gridlock on Capitol Hill, he says.
 
The coalition, a partnership between the White House and 33 state and local governments, aims to deliver cleaner, healthier, and more affordable buildings by advancing building performance policies in each of the members’ jurisdictions by Earth Day 2024.
 
The coalition recognizes that there is no “one-size-fits-all” standard when it comes to standards and codes for buildings. Differences in climates and environments, energy resource distributions, material supply chains, legacy building stock compositions, community preferences, market dynamics, and other variables add complexity.
 
Taking these variables into account could make code development more effective locally, but on the other hand, Ramanujam adds, the lack of a true national building performance standard may limit its impact.
 

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