A letter from American Institute of Architects (AIA) CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, was sent August 8, 2017, to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The letter outlines concerns the AIA has with language in the recently introduced Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460 that would repeal targets for the reduction of emissions from federal buildings, as well as language that could negatively impact the codes development process:

Almost 40 percent of all US energy is consumed by buildings that produce carbon through heating, cooling and lighting and through their construction. Architects work to reduce such operational and embodied carbon production with passive design techniques, energy efficiency measures and low-impact building materials that increase human health and productivity. Architects also integrate renewable energy sources into buildings, making them more sustainable, resilient and economical. Greater efficiency, particularly in the building sector, has saved billions of dollars for both consumers and taxpayers.

That is why AIA is deeply opposed to language that would repeal goals for the federal government to increase the performance of its buildings. Section 1114 of S. 1460 would repeal Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. As you know, this provision sets targets for the reduction and eventual elimination of fossil fuel use in new and renovated federal buildings by the year 2030.

This policy is the only requirement enshrined in law that obligates the federal government to address greenhouse gas emissions from the buildings sector. As the largest landlord in the country, it is of the upmost importance that the federal government maintain its leadership in reducing the environmental impact of its buildings. Therefore, we urge you to retain Section 433 in any legislation that addresses our nation’s energy policies.

Read the entire letter Senate ENR Energy Bill Letter 8.8.17.