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Architects and Sustainable Design

Green/High-Performance Building Legislation in the States
The following map displays states (in green) with legislation mandating the use of green/high-performance building standards for new state-funded building projects and renovations.

 

Green = States that have passed green/high-performance building legislation
White = States that have not passed green/high-performance building legislation

Arkansas
On March 29, 2005, Arkansas House Bill 2445 was passed, followed by passage in the Senate on April 6, 2005. The bill is titled, An Act to Promote the Conservation of Energy and Natural Resources in the Design of State Building Projects Through the Use of Sustainable Building Rating Systems, and states

In recognition of the economic, energy conservation, and environmental benefits of sustainable building design, it is in the best interest of the State of Arkansas to initiate a process to encourage improved building practices, to provide support and information to assist state agencies in carrying out the purposes of this subchapter, and to continue development of best building practices through a legislative task force to evaluate and report to the General Assembly the progress being made under this subchapter.

State agencies conducting or funding a public building project or rehabilitation project are encouraged to refer to and should utilize whenever possible and appropriate the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or Green Globes rating systems referred to in this subchapter.

The bill also establishes a Legislative Task Force on Sustainable Building Design and Practices. To view the state's legislation, click here.

Connecticut

On May 26, 2006, the state passed Public Act 06-187 which requires the adoption of regulations to adopt building construction standards that are consistent with or exceed the silver building rating of LEED for new commercial construction and major renovation projects. Prior to January 1, 2007, the Commissioner of Public Works, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the Commissioner of Public Safety worked together to create these regulations. To view the state's legislation, click here.

Louisiana

Prior to the 2007 legislative session, the House Committee on Commerce produced a report studying the feasibility of imposing green building standards for certain public buildings. This study is a result of House Bill No. 498 which proposed energy and environmental building standards for certain buildings. To view the text of HR 498, click here.

Maryland

On March 26, 2005, the Maryland House passed HB 196, followed by the passage of SB 92 on April 4, 2005. This legislation requires that state capital projects (state-funded building projects) meet green/high-performance building standards. The bill states that a “high performance building” means a building that

  • Achieves at least a silver rating according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system
  • Achieves at least a two-globe rating according to the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes program
  • Achieves at least a comparable numeric rating according to a nationally recognized, accepted, and appropriate numeric sustainable development rating system, guideline, or standard
  • Meets nationally recognized, consensus-based, and accepted green building guidelines, standards, or systems approved by the state. To view the state's legislation, click here. 

Nevada
On June 17, 2005, Nevada Gov. Guinn signed into law AB3 which states

Each occupied public building whose construction will be sponsored or financed by this State must, when completed, meet the requirements to be certified at or meet the equivalent of the base level or higher in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, or an equivalent standard, as adopted by the Director of the Office of Energy pursuant to section 11 of this act.

During each biennium, at least two occupied public buildings whose construction will be sponsored or financed by this State must be designated as demonstration projects and must, when completed, meet the requirements to be certified at or meet the equivalent of the silver level or higher in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, or an equivalent standard, as adopted by the Director of the Office of Energy pursuant to section 11 of this act. To view the state's legislation, click here.

Washington

On April 8, 2005, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law ESSB 5509, requiring state-funded projects over 5,000 square feet, including school district buildings, to use high-performance green building standards. The bill states that

The legislature finds that public buildings can be built and renovated using green/high-performance methods that save money, improve school performance, and make workers more productive. Green/high-performance public buildings are proven to increase student test scores, reduce worker absenteeism, and cut energy and utility costs.

Sec. 3 (1) All major facility projects of public agencies receiving any funding in a state capital budget must be designed, constructed, and certified to at least the LEED silver standard.

(2) All major facility projects of any entity other than a public agency or public school district receiving any funding in a state capital budget must be designed, constructed, and certified to at least the LEED silver standard.

(3)(a) Public agencies, under this section, shall monitor and document ongoing operating savings resulting from major facility projects designed, constructed, and certified as required under this section.

Sec. 4 (1) All major facility projects of public school districts receiving any funding in a state capital budget must be designed and constructed to at least the LEED silver standard or the Washington sustainable school design protocol.

(2) Public school districts under this section shall: (a) Monitor and document appropriate operating benefits and savings resulting from major facility projects designed and constructed as required under this section for a minimum of five years following local board acceptance of a project receiving state funding; and (b) report annually to the superintendent of public instruction. To view the state's legislation, click here.

 

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