WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established regulations that require most new federal buildings to achieve at least 30 percent greater energy efficiency than that of the prevailing building codes. The new standards are also 40 percent more efficient than the standards in the current Code of Federal Regulations and will help federal agencies meet Executive Order #13423, which mandated increased federal energy efficiency.

Over the next 10 years, the standards could save more than 40 trillion Btu and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million metric tons, said DOE. The new regulation updates an interim final rule that DOE issued on Dec. 4, 2006, and which applied to any federal building that entered the “design for construction” phase by Jan. 3, 2007.

The new regulations take effect on Jan. 22 and apply to new federal commercial buildings, multi-family high-rise residential buildings, and low-rise residential buildings. The standards aim to address energy efficiency by looking at a building’s entire performance, instead of relying on prescriptive requirements for building components and systems. The high standards put forth in the new regulations will also encourage federal builders to use an integrated approach when constructing new buildings.

Publication date:01/14/2008