WASHINGTON – Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a congressional resolution designating the week of June 11 through June 15, 2018 as “High Performance Building Week.” The resolution recognizes that high performance buildings promote water and energy efficiency, protecting natural resources and reducing costs for building occupants. Other Senate co-sponsors are Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). House cosponsors are Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.).
The sponsors and cosponsors of the resolution released the following statement upon introduction:
“The resolution supports High Performance Building Week, which celebrates the contributions of engineers, architects, builders, code officials, tradespeople, design professionals, and laborers in the construction industry. It bears zero-cost to the American taxpayer and recognizes the advancements of high performance buildings by highlighting American innovation.”
The full text of the resolution is below.
Expressing the sense of the Senate that high performance buildings improve the quality of life for millions of individuals, produce a more resilient and sustainable world for current and future generations, reduce operating costs, and improve the productivity, comfort, and health of occupants, and designating the week of June 11 through June 15, 2018, as “High Performance Building Week”.
Whereas the term “high performance building” is defined in section 401 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17061) as “a building that integrates and optimizes on a life cycle basis all major high performance attributes, including energy conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality, and operational considerations”;
Whereas, because individuals spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors and buildings are the single largest consumer of energy and water in the United States, built environments have a vast impact on virtually all aspects of life and national security in the United States;
Whereas the United States benefits technologically, economically, and environmentally from innovative technologies developed for use in high performance buildings;
Whereas research and programs that are supported by government entities and private industry and relate to high performance buildings benefit the United States and individuals in the United States; and
Whereas investing in resilient and robust building systems protects individuals and businesses in the United States from the impacts of man-made disasters and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, wildland fires, floods, and earthquakes: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) designates the week of June 11 through June 15, 2018, as “High Performance Building Week”; and
(2) supports efforts to—
(A) improve the performance of existing and future buildings through—
(i) the adoption of best practices and voluntary consensus standards relating to commercial and residential buildings; and
(ii) participation by interested parties in—
(I) government programs, including those at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy;
(II) public-private partnerships; and
(III) private initiatives;
(B) create awareness of the beneficial impacts that high performance buildings have on communities, including reductions in operating costs, improvements in the health and productivity of occupants of high performance buildings, and enhancements in community resiliency;
(C) encourage interested parties to engage in dialogues on innovative policies and programs relating to the build environment that address needs relating to resiliency, workforce development, and energy and water efficiency;
(D) support investment in research and programs that incentivize investments in high performance commercial and residential buildings, as investment in high performance buildings is in the overall interests of the United States; and
(E) invest in training and education for, and celebrate the work of, engineers, architects, builders, code officials, tradespeople, design professionals, laborers, and others in the construction industry who work to advance high performance buildings.