New Competition for Builder Regulations, Ratings, Building Sustainability Measures, and LEED

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New competition for the US Green Building Council, LEED certification, and home builder regulations now exists. Choosing and implementing building sustainability measures was delayed by the Regulations Review Committee. Destiny Homes, a Twin Cities home re-modeler, hopes legislators will continue to streamline, simplify, and improve rules and regulations that affect building contractors and ensure home health and energy efficiency.

Home Builder Regulations and Ratings Requirements

Home Builder Regulations and Ratings Requirements

The coalition will advocate for performance- and consensus-based standards for green building, which are the best way to achieve exceptional energy-efficiency,” ~ Steve Russell, ACC

On July 18, the strength of 27 leading associations representing a wide range of interests in the building and construction industry announced the formation of the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition(AHPBC). An impressive list of the most powerful business groups in Washington, D.C.

Sustainablebusiness.com says, "Just as agencies across the US federal government including the Department of Defense are getting into green building big time, industries with lots at stake are pushing their own green building standard to compete with the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED certification." And no one is being shy about the intent to be a better replacement to LEED.

Destiny Homes, along with building contractors and remodelers nationwide, is hoping to see competitive groups actually work together to ensure that the balance of building regulations, ratings, and practical implementation co-exist to best serve homeowners and the housing industry.

Millions of tax dollars are at stake in yesterday's review and decisions ahead. Weighing in the balance are serious savings from energy retrofits for all taxpayers.

Sustainablebusiness.com says, "Just as agencies across the US federal government including the Department of Defense are getting into green building big time, industries with lots at stake are pushing their own green building standard to compete with the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED certification." And no one is being shy about their intent to be a better replacement to LEED.

To condense the matter, the AHPBC specifically seeks to make Green Globes, a "business-friendly and affordable alternative to LEED," the recognized federal standard, superseding and taking over for LEED. The industry coalition is positioning itself for lucrative markets from the federal government - the US General Services Administration and Department of Defense. With 400 cities and 39 states, currently require builders meet LEED standards, that's big business.

Millions of tax dollars are at stake in yesterday's review and decisions about home builder requirements ahead. Weighing in the balance are serious savings from energy retrofits for all taxpayers. A fifth public comment will open on October 2, 2012, and run thru December 10, 2012 and comments are encouraged.

Destiny Homes is aware of building suppliers who feel the taunt pressures of what many perceive as an impossible time line. While in unison with objectives to seek health and safety standards, replacing questionable products takes deserved time. Jim Hoff, Vice President of Research for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, said there still needs to be a lot of work done in the area of material assessment. "We are very concerned," he said. "By trying to force these credits in the mainstream of a very popular program, it could actually be counterproductive as far as developing standards in the long run."

A letter from 18 senators was sent June 12 to GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. The Senate letter echoed cautions from several capital lawmakers saying, "We believe that the federal government should not base its choices on arbitrary restrictions that may not allow for the use of the most effective materials, especially when the rejection of these materials would mean the loss of jobs and economic growth at a time our country can least afford it,”

Additionally viable concerns are expressed across housing sectors that the U.S. is already facing stiff headwinds in our housing recovery and unnecessary stresses should be avoided. For a full run down of concerns and rebuttals, buildinggreen.com offers the details.

While this debate has resurfaced many times, the July 24th Regulations Review Committee meeting was watched with fresh rancor. With the coalition in place as a new challenger, and a strong one at that, the USGBC council wrote in an email sent yesterday, “We are at a significant moment in our organization’s history” ...and "facing our greatest threat to date.” It is asking for signatures of 1,000 companies or more that support the federal government’s continued reliance on LEED.

Contact Destiny Homes for your home remodeling questions and for builder excellence serving homeowners in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area.

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Butch and Liz Sprenger
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