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IAPMO Applauds U.S. Congress for Introduction of High-Performance Buildings Legislation

IAPMO assisted in the creation of H.R. 5112, the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010, bipartisan legislation introduced on April 22 by Congressman Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and Congresswoman Judy Biggert, R-Ill., that would promote best practices, including water efficiency, in federal buildings. Senators Tom Carper, D-Del., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced identical legislation in the U.S. Senate, as well.

H.R. 5112 would require the federal government's General Services Administration (GSA) to identify core competencies that federal personnel must maintain in all federal buildings — consistent with industry best practices. GSA would also be required to work with private professional societies, industry associations and apprenticeship training providers to ensure their personnel meet the required competencies. While GSA may identify its own required core competencies, this legislation directs that their findings must include water efficiency as a required core competency. IAPMO’s work with Congress as this legislation was being crafted helped ensure that water efficiency was included in the bill.

"In order to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, in addition to investing in high-performance buildings, we must invest in the people maintaining these buildings so that we recoup the largest energy and cost savings possible," said Rep. Carnahan, author of the legislation and co-chair of the Congressional High- Performance Building Caucus. "Saving money and improving efficiency is exactly what this legislation will accomplish." Carnahan praised IAPMO for "its long history of writing codes that benefit scarce natural resources," and called the association’s support "critical as the federal government worked to retrofit and improve its existing building stock into high-performance buildings."

The federal government is the single largest owner and operator of buildings in the United States and requiring its personnel to maintain core competencies, especially water efficiency, will greatly move the government toward adopting better codes and standards. Furthermore, the private sector often follows the federal government's lead; therefore, this legislation would allow the government to lead by example.

"Congressman Carnahan has stalwartly taken the reins of federal policy affecting high-performance buildings for several years," stated GP Russ Chaney, IAPMO executive director. "He has conceived, crafted and has now introduced this legislation, and deserves substantial credit for his efforts in moving America’s aging building infrastructure to a much needed higher performance level.

"We look forward to working with Rep. Carnahan to get this valuable piece of legislation passed."

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