During the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) Summer Conference, the Regulatory Affairs Committee met to learn about recent developments in USGBC’s version 4 of LEED, as well as other federal and state regulations of interest to the window, door and skylight industry.
Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (S.1000)
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 will increase the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors while fostering job creation. In regards to buildings, this bill would reinforce national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient while increasing the transparency of the code-writing process. The baselines for updating national model codes are ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for commercial and the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential.
This bill would do the following for manufacturers:
• Help to reduce energy use and establish a loan program that would help finance energy-efficient upgrades
• Encourage the DOE to work with private sector partners to invest in research, development and commercialization of energy-efficient technology, as well as processes for industrial applications
• Establish SupplySTAR, a DOE program that would help companies’ supply chains be more efficient
Smart Energy Act of 2012 (H.R. 4017).
Additionally, Committee members were updated on the Smart Energy Act of 2012, which is pending legislation that seeks to establish a federal loan program for energy efficiency upgrades in both federal and private sectors. This program allows for upgrades to commercial, multifamily residential, industrial, municipal, government, school, institutes of higher learning and hospital buildings.
Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012 (H.R. 5911)
The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012 will not only restore the “Opt-Out” provision, but suspends the Lead Renovations Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule if the EPA cannot approve commercially available test kits that meet the regulation’s requirements and restricts the EPA from expanding LRRP activities to commercial and public buildings pending a study to prove necessity.
Due to feedback from stakeholders, USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi announced June 4 that the ballot for LEED 2012 will be delayed until June 13, 2013. This delay prompted the name to change from LEED 2012 to LEED v4. According to USGBC, the additional year for technical development and the addition of a fifth public comment period are intended to achieve the following:
• Allow for greater improvement of credits in the rating system
• Give LEED users the opportunity to test the program support elements and provide feedback
• Give LEED users the opportunity to make a well-informed decision by providing an “extended and interactive LEED v4 program development process.”
The USGBC is to keep LEED 2009 available for the next three years. The fifth public comment period is scheduled for October 2 to December 10, 2012.
2013 California Energy Standards
In addition to federal legislation and the LEED v4 development, Committee members were also updated on the status of 2013 California Energy Standards, also known as the Title 24 Building Efficiency Standards.
The proposed 2013 standards focus on several key areas to improve the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings (as well as additions and alterations to existing buildings), help reduce electricity demand reductions during critical peak periods and enable simple and efficient future solar system installations.