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New Rule Targets Energy, Water Use

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a new regulation aimed at reducing building energy and water consumption through active management.

The rule, effective Nov. 13, requires verified energy and water performance for new and retrofitted federal buildings that are certified by third-party green-building rating systems.


The rule requires post-occupancy assessments at least every four years, to ensure energy and water savings continue beyond initial construction or retrofit, according to the Energy Department.

The rule applies to certain new federal buildings and major renovations for which design for construction begins on or after Oct. 14, 2015.

New Rule, Recommendation

Under the measure, if agencies choose to use green-building certification systems to meet federal sustainability and energy standards, the system must be one that verifies energy and water efficiency.

The rule also requires post-occupancy assessments at least every four years, to ensure continued energy and water savings during ongoing operations, the Energy Department said in a notice Friday (Oct. 10).

The rule does not specify a green-building rating system but offers criteria for agencies to determine and select a system.

solar energy

System requirements for the verification of energy and water performance in new construction and major renovations will lead to reduced consumption through active energy and water management, according to the DOE.

At the same time, the DOE encouraged agencies to consider the General Services Administration’s 2013 green building recommendation in selecting a system.

That document recommends the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes 2010 and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED 2009 rating systems.

Verification is Key

Verifying energy and water performance in new construction and major renovations will lead to reduced consumption through active energy and water management, the DOE noted.

“The considered use of green building rating systems advances federal high-performance buildings by focusing on modernized, integrated building systems that minimize inefficiencies and waste and enhance cost-saving benefits,” the DOE said.

The federal agency says it will provide a webinar in November on the rule’s requirements.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Energy codes; Energy efficiency; General Services Administration; Green building; Green design; U.S. Department of Energy

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