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PennFuture heralds passage of green buildings legislation

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) commended the Pennsylvania State House for the passage, by a vote of 163 to 32, of House Bill 34, sponsored by Rep. Kate Harper (R – Montgomery) which will provide clear, high-performance building standards for most construction projects involving buildings owned or substantially leased by the Commonwealth.

“This smart legislation is a major win for taxpayers, the environment and the economy,” said Steve Stroman, policy director for PennFuture. “Building our government facilities to these standards will save taxpayers money by cutting energy costs drastically; it will protect our families and businesses from harmful air pollution; and, it will make our public workers more productive. This is a terrific move forward for everyone.”

Buildings account for approximately 41 percent of energy use, 71 percent of electricity consumption, and 14 percent of water use. Studies show that the high-performance buildings in House Bill 34 would lead to substantial savings in operating costs over the life of the buildings, saving taxpayers money on energy and water bills. High-performance buildings cause less pollution, generate less solid waste, and contribute to a healthier, more productive work environment for their occupants.

House Bill 34 would enable Pennsylvania state government, including the State System of Higher Education, to serve as a model and leader for the rest of the state in smartly promoting the use of green buildings, using (and reusing) Pennsylvania products and building materials. A variety of green building rating systems would be acceptable under the bill.