WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it is seeking additional input from the public regarding the federal government’s use of third party green building certification systems. GSA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments, for a period ending April 8, 2013, on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major modernization projects. Every five years, GSA is required to evaluate green building certification systems for the government’s use.

“GSA would like to hear more from the public, stakeholders, and experts before we develop a formal recommendation on the government’s use of green building certification systems,” said Dan Tangherlini, GSA Acting Administrator. “This review has been open to an extensive public process, and an additional comment period will assist us in making a final recommendation for the next five years. The federal government has its own building standards in place, and we are seeking input on how and which certification systems can best help us measure performance and operate federal buildings more efficiently.”

GSA said that it has been working for more than 30 years to make federal buildings more efficient by reducing energy and water use, which saves taxpayer dollars and reduces impact on the environment. Federal construction and modernization projects must adhere to the government’s green building requirements, and third party certification systems help in measuring effectiveness and performance.

GSA is currently evaluating three certification systems for green building standards, which include the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. After the public comment period, GSA will use that feedback and make a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This recommendation could be one system, multiple systems, or no system. GSA held public forums last summer regarding certification systems and facts and findings of this review are included in the Federal Register notice.

Presently, GSA uses LEED 2009 for new construction and major modernization projects with LEED Gold as the certification system and target level.

To read the findings of the GSA review and submit comments, go to www.regulations.gov. Search for Notice-MG-2012-04. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with Notice-MG-2012-04. Then follow the instructions provided at the Submit a Comment screen.

Publication date: 2/18/2013