Biden Administration to Develop Performance Standards for Federal Buildings

Back To News
May 21, 2021

In conjunction with the 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit! organized by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Biden Administration announced a program to make buildings more affordable, cleaner, and resilient. The new federal investments in building energy efficiency and electrification, as well as new opportunities to modernize homes and businesses, will create “good-paying, union jobs,” according to the White House.

While much of the proposal is focused on the electrification of the buildings, of interest to the building enclosure sector is a forthcoming proposal from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) that will develop building performance standards (BPS) for the federal government. The effort, in conjunction with General Services Administration (GSA), DOE, and the Environmental Protection Agency, will establish metrics, targets, and tracking methods to reach federal carbon emissions goals. According to the announcement, the performance standards will identify progressive performance milestones as well as the resources that agencies need to meet them.

During the Summit, Acting GSA Administrator Katy Kale referenced the effort, saying “this administration and GSA believes in leading by example.”

IIBEC believes that in addition to research and development of more energy-efficient products and heating and cooling units, attention should also be focused on the role of the building enclosure in reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. On this note, IIBEC recently submitted testimony to the House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee expressing support for the DOE Building Technologies program and an additional $10 million be allocated for building-enclosure research.

GSA Administrator Status
President Biden nominated Robin Carnahan to lead the GSA in April, and she is currently meeting with Senators and preparing for her upcoming nomination hearing (date TBD).