Last week, we joined in with the speculation that the issuance of an internal building code for the Armed Services based on ASHRAE 189.1 would be further sign that the Pentagon was moving away from using LEED. However, the Pentagon's Media Relations Division has offered clarification to Building Green, saying that the Army is not abandoning LEED. Congress has already moved to explicitly limit funding for LEED Gold or Platinum certification, although how that limit has been interpreted is interesting.
The Congressional Prohibition on Use of Funds for LEED Gold or Platinum Certification states that "No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2012 may be obligated or expended for achieving any LEED gold or platinum certification."
The approach the military is taking with respect to the Congressional requirement is based on avoiding added cost, which is what the specific language in the legislation speaks about. As Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy, and the environment, told Building Green, "The challenge right now is one of education," she explained. "If a building got a Gold-level certification and we were striving for Silver, that does not mean there was an incremental cost. We're working to help prepare a report for Congress so they understand the benefit of high-performance buildings."
Furthermore, there are communities and local governments where incentives, such as reduced building permit fees or rebates, are available for projects that use LEED. Also, LEED certification fees are waived if project receives Platinum LEED Certification. In the long run, better performing buildings will be less expensive to operate and maintain. In fact, just a week ago, the Navy opened its first LEED Platinum facility at the Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) Phoenix at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz. Whether the Pentagon uses LEED or ASHRAE 189.1 or its own code, it is clear from numerous programs undertaken by all branches of the military that they understand the value of building good buildings.
Previously on EcoGeek: US Army Abandoning LEED Certification
via: Building Green
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