Building-Related Provisions in Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Bill Passed

June 29, 2009

The House of Representatives has taken a major step toward a green built environment by including several initiatives to spur the design, construction, and renovation of sustainable buildings in the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The House includes other provisions that architects have long supported, including investments in energy-efficient retrofits of businesses, and funding for community-based planning to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the transportation network. Also, the House bill included AIA-drafted language to ensure that energy codes are coordinated with other building codes and that architects and others receive appropriate training in how to implement them.

These provisions will make buildings and communities more sustainable,  create jobs for designers, planners, and builders, and lower energy bills. Although there is significant debate among members of Congress and the public about the cap-and-trade system, there is little disagreement that buildings must be a key component of energy and climate policy.

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