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White House Rolls Out Coalition To Promote State And Local Building Performance Standards


The Biden administration has launched a new coalition tasked with enacting sustainable building legislation and regulation over the next two years, focusing especially on building performance standards.

The Building Performance Standards Coalition is designed as a partnership between the federal government and a number of city and local governments, plus Colorado and Washington state.  

The building performance standards the coalition will work on are policies that establish specific energy or emissions performance levels for commercial and multifamily buildings, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Their overarching goals are to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. The standards have the advantage of being applicable to existing structures as well as new construction, Construction Dive reports, and they can be tailored to local conditions.

The federal government will provide technical assistance to members of the coalition. The Department of Energy will support analyses of existing building stocks and will work with local governments to set emissions reductions goals with the assistance of data collection tools.

The DOE will also share best practices in building performance standards for state and local governments, including public and private sector financing options, and will provide analytical support for new-construction building energy codes.

Major city participants in the coalition include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. A number of smaller jurisdictions are also participating, such as Ann Arbor, Michigan; Evanston, Illinois; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Savannah, Georgia.

"Members of the nation’s building trades and unions have stepped up to proactively partner with member cities and states to train a local workforce to get the job done," the administration said in a statement. "They have pledged to work with Coalition members as they implement new building performance standards and policies."

The coalition will build on the $3.5B allocated for home weatherization in the recently passed infrastructure bill, according to the White House. That initiative has a goal of making 700,000 residences more energy-efficient and will make $1.8B available to state and local governments through the Department of Energy to expand building retrofits.