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Building industry presents assessment on high-performance buildings

September 25, 2008
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Washington, D.C- On June 18, 2007, Representatives of Congress, administrators from the U.S. Department of Energy, and members of the building industry gathered on Capitol Hill to introduce the new leadership of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus and discuss the current state of the U.S. building stock. The centerpiece of the briefing was the Assessment to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Energy on High-Performance Buildings, a report prepared by the High-Performance Building Council, a group of over 100 public and private sector organizations.

The report was prepared in response to Section 914 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which addresses the need for not just "green" but high-performance buildings that combine the objectives of reducing resource and energy consumption with improving the environmental impact and functionality of buildings and the comfort and productivity of their occupants.

Since early 2006, the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has advocated for the implementation of Section 914 and the formation of an industry coalition to assess current consensus standards and rating systems. Upon formation of the High-Performance Building Council, SBIC has served as its Secretariat. Together with the National Institute of Building Sciences, SBIC identified industry groups for participation, engaged the House Committee on Science and Technology, and developed objectives for the first phase of the group's work. A complete copy of the report is available for download from SBIC's Web site at: www.sbicouncil.org.

SBIC would like to acknowledge the following members who contributed their time and expertise to this effort: The American Chemistry Council, The American Forest and Paper Association, The American Institute of Architects, The American Iron and Steel Institute, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., The Brick Industry Association, The Building Owners and Managers Association International, The Continental Automated Buildings Association, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, IEEE, The National Association of Realtors, The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, The National Fenestration Rating Council, The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, The Portland Cement Association, and Southern California Edison. Special thanks go to Southern California Edison for recognizing the value of this undertaking and underwriting many activities of the High-Performance Building Council.

"Today's high-performance buildings are the exception, not the rule," Representative Judy Biggert (R-ILL) reminded attendees of the Congressional briefing. "Russ [Carnahan] and I want to find creative ways to change that." The Assessment to Congress was only the first phase of the High-Performance Building Council's effort. On the heels of unveiling the report, the Council is launching its second phase, which will consist of profiling the attributes, metrics, measures, and standards for high-performance buildings. SBIC looks forward to continuing to serve the group as its Secretariat.
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