GSA Seeks Public Input for Green Building Certification Systems
February 5, 2013
Federal Register notice opens 60 day public comment period
Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it is seeking additional input from the public regarding the federal government’s use of third party green building certification systems. GSA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments for the next 60 days on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major modernization projects. Every five years, GSA is required to evaluate green building certification systems for the government’s use, and this review has been and will continue to be open to an extensive public process.
“GSA would like to hear more from the public, stakeholders, and experts before we develop a formal recommendation on the government’s use of green building certification systems,” said Dan Tangherlini, GSA Acting Administrator. “This review has been open to an extensive public process, and an additional comment period will assist us in making a final recommendation for the next five years. The federal government has its own building standards in place, and we are seeking input on how and which certification systems can best help us measure performance and operate federal buildings more efficiently.”
For more than 30 years, GSA has worked to make federal buildings more efficient by reducing water and energy use, which saves taxpayer dollars and reduces the impact on the environment. Federal construction and modernization projects must adhere to the government’s own green building requirements, and third party certification systems help in measuring effectiveness and performance.
GSA is currently evaluating three certification systems for green building standards, which include the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED 2009, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes, and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. After the public comment period, GSA will use that feedback and make a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy. This recommendation could be one system, multiple systems, or no system. GSA held public listening sessions last summer regarding certification systems and facts and findings of this review are included in the Federal Register notice.
Presently, GSA uses LEED 2009 for new construction and major modernization projects with LEED Gold as the certification system and target level.
Green building certification systems are just one tool that GSA uses to deliver better value and savings to the taxpayer and meet the Obama Administration’s sustainability and economic performance goals.