This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 01, 2006

DOE and 15 Federal Agencies Sign Green Building Agreement

DOE joined 15 other federal agencies and the White House Council on Environmental Quality on January 30th in a joint commitment to designing and constructing sustainable buildings that achieve high energy performance. The agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) saying they would strive to adopt a standard set of guiding principles for sustainable buildings: employing integrated design principles; optimizing energy performance; protecting and conserving water; enhancing indoor environmental quality; and reducing the environmental impact of the building materials. The agencies will aim to achieve the Energy Star targets for new construction and renovation and will also employ daylighting and incorporate biobased materials into their buildings. See the press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the full MOU (PDF 191 KB) on the Energy Star Web site. Download Adobe Reader.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) thinks sustainable design can eventually achieve large energy savings: The group has adopted position statements to promote sustainable design and resource conservation, with the goal of cutting in half the fossil fuels used to construct and operate buildings by the year 2010. The AIA also supports using rating systems and standards to promote the design and construction of sustainable communities and buildings. One such rating system, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, was recently streamlined and simplified by the organization that developed it, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). See press releases from the AIA and the USGBC.