Waxman-Markey Targets For Buildings Are Exactly What Builders Say are Impossible


graphic from NAIOP Website

A few months ago TreeHugger reported on a silly study (That 70s Show: Developers Still Don't Know How To Make a Building Green) from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (abbreviated as NAIOP, don't ask why) that concluded "that a 50 percent energy improvement beyond federal standards is technically impossible. A 30 percent target is achievable, but only by adding a million-dollar solar system that could take up to 100 years to pay for itself."

Interestingly, that is EXACTLY the level of energy improvements that the Waxman-Markey legislation mandates.

Over at Green Real Estate Law Journal, Stephen Del Percio has been following the NAIOP study and the reaction to it, and quotes NAIOP President Thomas Bisacquino extensively in an earlier post:

"The bottom line is that we're an industry that does make a profit, with investors who have to be satisfied. They have to look at the operations of the building. Profit is not a bad thing. That's how these companies work."

and

"I've read that you can use a lot of these technologies like solar to get a much quicker payback than our study indicates. They're right, but where they're suggesting that is where there are incentives at the city level, the county level, the state level. That's what we're advocating. We think incentives are good things. We don't want mandates. We want incentives."

Well, Mr. Bisacquino, you have mandates now, and they are coming up fast, at the National level where you have little control.

Del Percio writes:

If you recall the comments from NAIOP President Thomas Bisacquino in the aftermath of the uproar created by the NAIOP study, Waxman-Markey may ultimately create the precise scenario that NAIOP and its constituents feared: 30 to 50 percent reductions over ASHRAE 90.1-2004 in the short-term. As you may remember, Mr. Bisacquino stated that "to mandate these targets right now, of 30 percent efficiency by 2010, is unrealistic for a lot of properties.".... It's clear that building performance will become increasingly critical issues moving forward if every building in the country is required to meet these new national energy efficient building codes.

So look forward to a big bunfight with the development and construction industry over this one. More in Green Real Estate Law Journal.

Tags: Big Steps In Building | Green Building

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