While the General Services Administration may require all of the federal government’s new construction projects hit LEED Gold or better, a new executive order from the office of California Gov. Jerry Brown calls for all of the state’s new or renovated state buildings of more than 10,000 square feet to take LEED Silver or higher and incorporate clean, onsite power generation.
But lest you think the governor content to play second fiddle to the federal government on cutting the carbon footprint of its buildings, consider the fact that the order also sets a target of zero net energy consumption for 50 percent of the square footage of existing state-owned buildings by 2025 and zero net energy consumption from all new or renovated state buildings beginning design after 2025. And there’s more.
The executive order also directs state agencies and departments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020 (as measured against a 2010 baseline); reduce overall water use by the same amount, over the same baseline; and reduce their grid-based energy purchases and other non-building, grid-based retail energy purchases by 20 percent by 2018, as compared to a 2003 baseline. Additionally, state agencies and departments will be required to use environmentally preferable products and provide electric vehicle charging stations at employee parking facilities in new and existing buildings.
All of which is in keeping with the state’s history of leadership on energy efficient policies and legislation, as the state’s per capita use of electricity has remained virtually flat over the past 30 years, despite its rapid economic growth. According to the governor’s office, these policies have created 1.5 million jobs for the state and saved taxpayers $1,000 per household since 1978, and this new executive order has the potential to save the save millions more (not to mention billions of gallons of water).