Harper’s Green Building Bill Earns Committee Approval

State Rep. Kate Harper

Rep. Kate Harper’s (R-Montgomery) plan to make Pennsylvania a leader in energy-efficient construction has earned the approval of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

House Bill 34 requires the design, construction and renovation of state-owned or leased buildings receiving state funding to be done using high-performance standards. The proposal was passed by the House last session but was not considered in the Senate.

“Investing in high-performance construction now will save the taxpayers money in the long run,” Harper said. “The government facilities we build today will be here for decades to come, and we have a responsibility to design them for long-term efficiency and performance.”

Specifically, the bill requires high-performance construction standards to be applied to the following types of projects:

A state owned building project larger than 20,000 gross square feet
A new building project larger than 20,000 gross square feet in which a Commonwealth agency has agreed to lease no fewer than 90 percent of the gross square feet.

A renovation of a state-owned or leased building that is larger than 20,000 gross square feet and at least 90 percent of the total square footage of the building

The measure also places the responsibility for measurement and verification of performance in Commonwealth-owned projects with the Department of General Services and requires all building projects either owned or leased by the Commonwealth in which construction begins after the effective date of the act to achieve an EPA Energy Star rating of 75 or above.

“This is an opportunity for government to lead by example and represents an important investment in our Commonwealth’s future,” Harper added.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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