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EPA Joins Other Federal Agencies to Adopt High Performance and Sustainable Building Principles

Release Date: 01/30/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – January 30, 2006) In order to save energy and protect our nation's environment, EPA and several federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and General Services Administration, agreed to a set of guiding principles for designing, building, and operating federal facilities.

Energy efficiency is a key element of the principles, officially titled, "The Federal Leadership Memorandum of Understanding to adopt Guiding Principles for High Performance and Sustainable Buildings."

"Whether you are running a business, a school, or the government of the United States, getting the most out of our energy dollars just makes sense," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management Luis A. Luna. "In meeting President Bush's call to conserve our energy resources, the federal government is leading the way in the national march toward energy security and a cleaner environment."

Agreed to at the White House Summit on Federal Sustainable Buildings, the guiding principles integrate design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor air quality, and sustainable materials to ensure that new buildings are among the most energy efficient in the country. They also outline that building components should exceed the energy code, and that the actual energy performance of a building, during and through the first year of operation, should be verified against its design target using EPA's Energy Star performance rating system for buildings.

The federal government owns approximately 445,000 buildings with a total floor space of over 3 billion square feet, in addition to leasing 57,000 buildings comprising 374 million square feet of floor space. If federal buildings reduce energy by 10 percent, in 10 years taxpayers would save $420 million dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 625,000 cars.

Energy Star is a government-backed program helping businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. By partnering with EPA through Energy Star, more than 8,000 private and public sector organizations, in 2004 alone, saved enough energy to power 24 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 20 million cars – all while saving $10 billion.

More information on Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/news

Information on Energy Star buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings