GSA's green building rating system a heated issue on the Hill

vician/Shutterstock.com
Talk of green building is heating up on the Hill, with the General Services Administration's use of a green building rating system likely to come up during Thursday morning's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the red tape surrounding job creation.

The GSA requires all new federal construction to adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED gold rating. But the rating system is set to change next year, and a proposed set of credits have set off alarms within the plastics and chemical industries.

They're so concerned, in fact, that 27 business groups and associations have formed the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition, which includes major players such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chemistry Council. Members have also been hitting the Hill, meeting with congressmen and senators and talking up what they deem is a bad process to develop a rating system, and some proposed LEED credits in particular they say will hurt the industry.

Policy strategy director Lane Burt points out that LEED is voluntary and that the inclusion of a few credits doesn't mean that builders have to actually adhere to them, since you could theoretically choose which credits you want to qualify for.

But the USGBC is doing some politicking of its own. The council has communications firm HDMK pushing its message, although the USGBC media manager Ashley Katz says there is no major media campaign planned. This year, USGBC has had one in-house lobbyist and contracted the Podesta Group, spending a total of $60,000 on lobbying.

USGBC will also hold a staff briefing after the morning's meeting, bringing in industry people who have used the LEED rating system, including people representing Texas real estate firm Hines and Mississippi-based Yates construction company.



(Image via vician/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.