Rep. Harper Reintroduces Energy Efficient Building Bill

February 2011Newsletters In the Zone

Pennsylvania State Representative Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) is reintroducing legislation aimed at promoting the construction of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in the Commonwealth.

Under House Bill 193 , the design, construction and renovation of state-owned or leased buildings receiving state funding would have to be built using high-performance standards.

“When we build a new government building in this Commonwealth, we expect it to serve present and future generations,” Harper said. “These are not buildings with a short shelf life, and they should be designed for long-term efficiency and performance.”

Specifically, the bill would require the application of high-performance construction standards to be applied where:

  • A state-owned new building construction project is larger than 10,000 gross square feet.
  • A new construction project is larger than 10,000 square feet and a Commonwealth agency has agreed to lease no less than 90 percent of the gross square feet.

The bill requires a minimum set of criteria for the high-performance buildings standards to be used to ensure compliance. These would include being consensus-based, employ third-party post-construction review and verification and have a track record of certified green buildings in the United States. Additionally, projects would have to achieve a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Program rating of 85 or above.

“Pennsylvania government must lead by example to help make green building the rule rather than the exception,” Harper said. “Green building is friendlier to the environment because it saves energy, and saving energy saves money. This is a very worthwhile investment in our Commonwealth’s future.”

A similar measure passed the House by a 180-17 vote last session, but the bill was not taken up by the Senate.

For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].