Mandating green building

The Republican takeover of Congress in November means that we're unlikely to see new federal legislation affecting or mandating green building.That is good news for those who believe in free choice in the marketplace for green building certification.

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Voluntary efforts will not take us as far as we need to go.MORE FROM THE URBAN LAND INSTITUTE: Government Building Design Must Be Mindful of Urban Vitality and Public Use With Interest Rates Low—and Falling—Lenders Scale Back Expectations on Originations Q&A with Stephen J. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system has propelled the nonresidential marketplace into a broad debate over how best to define and verify a building’s "greenness." A growing contingent of states, from Florida to Oregon, and a handful of cities large and small have adopted the International Green Construction Code as a mandatory green building requirement instead of, or in addition to, voluntary rating systems such as LEED. While LEED remains the dominant tool and marquee brand to certify a building’s green design, some niche building-design rating systems are emerging to address perceived shortcomings in LEED.Furnary, Chairman and CEO, Clarion Partners A fresh generation of green building evaluation mechanisms is gaining popularity in the United States, signaling a new phase in the industry’s engagement with environmental and sustainability issues, one in which simple building certification is no longer enough and the commercial real estate marketplace is increasingly having to negotiate a variety of new building codes, additional ratings systems, and even performance measures. These alternatives range from the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, which is advertised as a simpler and less-expensive rating system, to the Living Building Challenge’s certification for zero-utility-energy buildings, the next frontier in energy-efficient, context-sensitive design.The aim of this paper is to analyze the unintended consequences of green government policies.This paper begins by providing a background on how the implementation of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) government policies supported or increased racial and socioeconomic segregation by causing urban sprawl and gentrification.