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Washington invests $400,000 to meet new green building standards

Buildings account for three-quarters of DC’s carbon emissions. New regulation requires large buildings to reduce energy and greenhouse gas.

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Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced a $400,000 investment for a new High-Performance Building Hub to support more sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings to achieve the District’s climate and energy goals.

 

Buildings currently account for about 74 per cent of DC’s carbon emissions. The city’s goal is to cut emissions in half by 2032 and be carbon neutral by 2050.

 

The city’s goal is to cut emissions in half by 2032 and be carbon neutral by 2050.

 

The Hub will aim to help building owners and managers comply with Washington DC’s Clean Energy DC Plan and the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, which the Mayor signed earlier this year and has been described as the most ambitious clean energy legislation in the US.

 

The Act establishes building energy performance standards that will require large buildings over a certain size to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Global examples

 

The Hub will draw on examples and best practice from other cities, including the New York City Building Energy Exchange, the Vancouver Zero Emission Building Exchange and BloxHUB in Copenhagen.

 

“By implementing bold, city-wide actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will build a more sustainable city and keep DC an international model for fighting climate change,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re committed to supporting the real estate community in meeting these new building standards and investing in programmes and policies that cut pollution, create jobs and help us build the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the United States.”

 

The Hub is scheduled to launch in autumn 2020.

 

Building retrofits will be a key area of focus and around half of DC’s buildings could require upgrades under the legislation, experts say.

 

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) awarded an initial $100,000 grant to a team led by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) to assess the needs of the real estate community and building industry professionals as they look toward meeting the new building requirements and develop an initial business plan for the Hub.

 

The Hub is scheduled to launch in autumn 2020.

 

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