Last month, GreenSource, the magazine for sustainable design, reported that the U.S. Congress is prohibiting certain military spending on green building in a new defense authorization bill, H.R. 1540.
H.R. 1540, which was signed by President Obama December 31, will affect how Department of Defense funds are used to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold or Platinum rating. LEED consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
The bill will also require the Secretary of Defense to submit a cost-benefit report by June 30 on the sustainable design standards used by the military for new construction and renovations.
Some exceptions apply for LEED rating such as if a cost-benefit analysis for the project can demonstrate payback or if achieving Gold or Platinum imposes no additional cost.
Although the federal government has been a large customer for LEED, green building attorney Shari Shapiro, Esq., sees indications in other legislation that Congress is trying to push back at the use of LEED and green building in general.
Since its inception in 1998, LEED has progressed and now more accurately represents and incorporates emerging green building technologies.
Now with the H.R. 1540 signed, it could indicate a “rollback of the federal government at the forefront of pushing green building and LEED,” Shapiro said.
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