Building Energy Codes

Building energy codes have been used for many years as a cost-effective strategy to overcome barriers to energy efficiency in buildings. In this Analysis, J. Cullen Howe, of Arnold & Porter, provides an overview of building energy codes and examines them from the federal, state & local levels...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: President Obama Launches Better Buildings Initiative

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 3 rd , President Obama launched the Better Buildings Initiative , which is intended to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: ASTM Releases Standard for Measuring Energy Performance of Commercial Buildings in Real Estate Transactions

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 10, 2011, ASTM released its Building Energy Performance Assessment (BEPA) Standard – E 2797-11 . This standard enables users to measure the energy performance of a commercial building in connection with a real...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Building Energy Audits and Benchmarking – A Growing Trend

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Increasingly, states and municipalities are requiring buildings within their jurisdictions to perform energy audits or otherwise disclose their energy use, usually referred to as “benchmarking.” A building...

PACE Financing: Recent Controversy and Litigation

There is a continuing controversy over Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides loans for improving energy efficiency in buildings. After describing PACE programs and discussing why their future is threatened, J. Cullen Howe reviews recent litigation that could affect the status...

Sustainability Trends in the Real Estate Sector: Market Forces at Work

A recently published PwC review identifies a number of business factors that are heightening attention to sustainability in the real estate sector. Among the key drivers are: • An increasing frequency in inquiries from investors such as APG Investment, CalPERS, and CalSRS, demanding real estate...

Chicago Passes Mandatory Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

The Chicago City Council recently passed the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance of the City of Chicago 1 (the "Ordinance"), and as a result have joined eight major cities and two states 2 that require some form of energy benchmarking for buildings. While there are some exceptions, described...

Philadelphia's Energy Benchmarking Deadline Will Be at Your Doorstep This Halloween

For owners of commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more in the city of Philadelphia, chances are the time has come to address the city's new energy and water use benchmarking law. Energy benchmarking refers to a process used to measure energy efficiencies of buildings, which provides a standard...

The World Green Building Council Makes “The Business Case for Green Building”

Is green building a wise business decision? That is the fundamental question the World Green Building Council’s report, “ The Business Case For Green Building ,” attempts to address. The report compiles actual cost and benefit data from peer-reviewed publications and includes numerous...

The Future of Building Codes & “Green” Building Programs

For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we would like to welcome back Sean Lintow Sr. (@ The_HTRC ) of SLS Construction & Building Solutions . Sean has over 20 years in the construction and project management fields and is now solely specializing in helping other...

GSA Speaks: Green Options Expand and The Fate of LEED v4 Deferred to Another Day

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), GSA is required to evaluate green building certification systems for use by federal agencies every five years. Recently, the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) completed its current review and provided updated recommendations to the...

Senate Tax Reform Proposals: “Chilling Effect” On Real Estate Industry

By Bruce Thompson A tax reform proposal released by the Senate Finance Committee would have a major impact on the real estate industry, according to comments submitted to the committee by a number of industry groups. If enacted in their current form, the group says, these proposals would threaten...