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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 12, 2012 12:45 PM
From: Representative Kate Harper
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation - Reintroduction of Former HB193 High Performance or "Green" Buildings
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce Former HB 193, legislation that would require the design, construction, and renovation of state-owned or leased buildings to comply with specified and high-performance building standards. This legislation would establish the High-Performance, State Buildings Standards Act as a freestanding act. Former HB 193 had passed in the House last Session.

When we build a new government building in the Commonwealth, we expect it to serve present and future generations. These are not buildings with a short "shelf life," and they should be designed for long term efficiency and performance. Energy costs must be a part of this equation, both for the long term success of the project and for the part the Commonwealth must play in our country's energy independence.

This legislation would require the application of high performance building construction standards to be applied in instances where:
  • A state-owned new building project is larger than 20,000 gross square feet and in which a Commonwealth Agency has agreed to lease no fewer than 90% of gross square feet.
  • Inserts a new provision stating that renovations, under the bill, will apply to projects that are larger than 20,000 gross square feet and at least 90% of the total square footage of the building.
  • Streamlines language regarding Federal EPA Energy Star certification to keep it consistent with Federal language and reduces the Energy Star rating requirement to 75 instead of 85

This bill also establishes the responsibility for measurement and verification of performance in Commonwealth-owned projects lies with the agency occupying the building and not with the Department of General Services. The term “Commonwealth Agency” will include the General Assembly, its officers and agencies and the unified judicial system and its officers and agencies.

I believe that it is important to deploy energy efficient and environmentally sound buildings throughout the Commonwealth. This will not only help to reduce the Commonwealth’s energy costs, but will allow Pennsylvania to serve as a leader in the use of high performance building techniques – leading to more widespread adoption of these environmentally sound principles.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Previous co-sponsors: K. Boyle, Bradford, Caltagirone, Cohen, DeLuca, Fleck, Freeman, Gibbons, Harhart, Kortz, Milne, Murt, Pashinski, Ross, Santarsiero, Scavello, Sturla, Taylor, Vitali, Watson, Youngblood

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Introduced as HB34