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Green Building -2030 Codes Goes Before Stat Building Commission
More CASA News
Global Warming Climate Report
NM Construction Industries Commission Recommends New Measures
Federal Judge Knocks Down ABQ Green Code
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Green Building Codes and The 2030 Challenge Goes Before CIC 
CASA  created an opportunity for the Construction Industries Commission to learn what the Architecture 2030 Challenge was about in it's recent meeting on September 19, 2008 in Albuquerque. It was hoped that they would consider adopting the 2030 Challenge as a standard to use to develop the new Green Building Codes.
Ed Mazria presented the brief version for an audience of CID employees, the CIC and CASA guests. His presentation focused on the consequences of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels using the most recent figures from a variety of climatologicalyl and environmental resources, including NASA,  to demonstrate how the rise of CO2 threatens our way of life. His descriptions of the consequences of rising temperatures causing sea level rise, ice glacier meltdown, health effects, loss of animal habitat were very effective in providing the strong case for immediate action.

Examples of historical levels of CO2 to the present day intensified his point. He included the effects of coal-fired plants, transportation, and industrial and commercial GHG. This lead up to the most important contirbutor of GHG; the built environment. Mazria aptly demonstrated that the current high levels of CO2 emissions, as much as 45%, were major contributors to our high levels of CO2 worldwide.  

This lead anyone hearing and watching this program to conclude that changing our building standards, following the variety of sustainable building design guidelines available to the building community would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels with solar, wind and other alternative energy resources. This can be achieved by increments of 50% by 2010,    by 2020 and finally to carbon neutral by 2030.
The presentation was attended by 11 organizations in the state who emphasized their concern with letter endorsements  presented to Steve Chrispin, the meeting chair. The resolution to adopt the Governor's Climate Change recommendations using the 2030 guidelines developed in 2006 was presented. It reads as follows:
CIC Resolution
The Construction Industries Commision hereby adopts the energy reduction targets as spelled out in Governor Richardson's climate change Advisory Group, Recommendation RCI-7A and the Architecture Challenge of 50% building energy use reduction below an average building of that type by 2010 and then incremental percentage reduction to the year 2030 in carbon neutral buildings.
The energy reduction targets are being adopted to provide the Construction Industries Division (CID) clear guidelines for future code adoptions. The CID is further directed to develop a comprehensive plan to engage the building industry in a process to determine the most appropriate path to attain these goals.
The resolution was tabled, pending a proposal by Lisa Martinez, Director of the CID for the next meeting in November. We were disappointed, but not surprised.
We have a lot more work to do. We need your help and support. The funding for the new Green Bureau in the CID is  uncertain. We can determine the future of progressive green building codes in this state.
Our role in supporting the outcome of this is important and considered even more valuable now because of the need for the creation of a stronger 'green jobs' industry that will boost New Mexico's standing in the west.

Please go to the 2030 challenge website for more information.
More CASA News -  Post Summit Updates
CASA has begun the development of several committees based on the outcomes of the last GB Summit in April. The most improant areas were education and green building codes development.
We had an initial meeting of the codes committee. A SWOT analysis for the adoption by the CIC of the 2030 Challenge. Several issues were revealed. Primarily, the challenge of this resolution is going to be from trade groups and unions.Opportunities are more Green jobs, proper land use, aligning the industry, one uniform state code. Weaknesses are; ways to educate the industry, supply of building materials to rural areas, need more Green contractors and subs and resistance to change. Another meeting is scheduled for October.
A second committee emerged out of this last GBS, Education. This committee will focus on: defining an intergrated ecology, sustainability cirriculum that can be adopted; create an effective way to engage the professionals that teach to provide information about Sustainability- especially in the public arena.
Since the GBS we have begun the process. We decided to focus on the next generation of architects and engineers with a program called Sustainable Technology for At-Risk High Schoolers. We applied to the McCune Charitable Foundation and hope to begin the program after the first of the year. The objective is to find inner-city youth who have the capability for math and science achievements, but have no real way of getting the opportunity to be exposed to this field. This is a life-skills and mentoring approach, based on tutoring, job-shadowing, and an opportunity to work on a real 'green' project. We are very excited that a board member, Raymond Hensley, who is an engineer and active in this area for 15 years has decided to lead this program.
For information call Raymond Hensley 888-1900- The Group
The International Energy Code Falls Short of the Needed 30% Solution 
Minneapolis, Minnisota, September 23, 2008 - "Energy efficiency will substantially improve in the nation's 2009 model energy code governing new home construction, but will fail to achieve the 30 percent improvement sought by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of State Energy Officials. "

"We're deeply disappointed the "The 30% Solution" our comprehensive proposal to meet the 30 percent goal-fell just a few votes shy of the two-thirds need for adoption,"  said EECC Director William Fay."Buildings are the last great frontier of wasted energy", Fay stated. He continued, "American homes and commercial buildings are the nation's leading energy users and the leading source of GHG emissions. Because these buildings last for generations and are expensive to retrofit, any successful national policy must include robust imporvements in energy efficiency for new homes and commerial buildings."
And so it went at the conference with 60% voting in favor of this important change, but not enough to create this important change needed.
It was reported that one of the national houisng groups packed the meeting with those members who could not understand this need now. They argued now is not a good time to adopt this energy target. However, it was pointed out that 30% is a modest target with many builders around the nation achieving savings well beyond 30 percent. Record high foreclosures and evictions are due to the high cost of utility bills for many homeowners and low income renters.
It was also stated that at the U.S. DOE's Natinal Renewable Energy Laboratory found that 30 percent more energy-efficient homes return $511 a year in energy savings.
The announcement also stated a continued effort to have this energy level adopted, but will make the 30% Solution to those states that will go beyond the 2009 IECC today.
See more information.
New Mexico Energy Efficiency Strategy Recommends New Executive Orders
10 New Measures for Higher Efficiencies Recommended to the Clean Energy Development Council for the Governor by November 15
IN 2005 the New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson set targets for the state to reduce Greenhouse gases 75% by 2050.
In 2006 the Governor adopted 69 GHG reduction measures.
In 2007 he established  state-wide energy efficiency targets including the private sector reductions of 20% per capita by 2020. He directed the Energy and Minerals and Natural Resources Division to oversee the building sector that would include the CID (meaning greener energy codes).
In 2008 there are new measures that have been developed by EMNRD. These ten target areas that represent higher levels of efficiency  increase the savings of electricity, natural gas, gasoline, reductions in CO2 emissions, and a savings of $5.6 billion dollars by 2025 in New Mexico.
The measures include:
  • Low-Income energy efficiency assistance (ongoing)
  • Energy efficiency requirements for state agencies to increase include id of high priority buildings, peformance contracting, ESCO's, tax-exempt lease purchasing agreements to create energy-saving projects without government funding. (ongoing)
  • Stabilize Per Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled (new)
  • Energy efficiency for local governments and schools (ongoing): to increase '09 funding to make more new and existing schools energy efficient
  • Adopt aggressive energy efficient building energy codes and code training/enforcement (new) 
  • Electric utility energy efficiency programs (ongoing): increase efficiency to 12% by 2020
  • Natural gass eneregy efficiency programs (ongoing):ramp up gas DSM programs by setting gas saving targets of 10% by 2020
  • Energy efficiency Public Education Campaign
  • Combined heat and power programs (new): to educate and train commercial, industrial, institutional, wastewater and solid waste facility managers. Create tax incentives to non-utility CHP owners
  • Industry Challenge and Recognition Program (new)

Federal Judge Knocks Down Albuquerque Green Code 
She says it conflits with Federal Law
Just two days old on October 2nd, Albuquerque's new "green" building code is on hold and it may never be enforced. New Mexico's chief federal judge, Martha Vázquez, issued a 24-page order late Friday prohibiting City Hall from enforcing the code, which outlines a host of energy-efficiency measures for homes and businesses. The preliminary injunction will be in effect until the case is resolved permanently. The code's goals are "laudable," the judge wrote, but the city legislation "infringes on an area pre-empted by federal law." 
An editorial in the Albuquerque Journal the next day called for repeal of the Albuquerque Green Code implying that the City should not try to go beyond fereal guidelines in seeking enery efficiency for buildings. John Fleck, Journal Science writer said it right when he wrote: "A report last year from the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, widely respected as one of the most comprehensive analyses of the cost of reducing greenhouse emissions, found that starting at home - improved building energy efficiency - is the low-hanging fruit. But a story in this morning's Journal by my colleague Dan McKay illustrates that, in tackling climate change, even the easy things are hard."
It is incredible that an industry group was able to handcuff local efforts to do the right thing. We were singled out and they now have the upper hand. Other cities have enacted green codes that have stringent energy requirements and they are in effect. The City should look at how the code is worded and determmine if there really are alternative paths to achieve the same end. Federal guidelines are the least common denominator and we all know they are far behind where we need to be. The City needs to be encouraged to continue to find the best way to implement the current code standards.

A Great New Book with Imporant Global Warming Vision

Author Arjun Makhijani writes about moving our earth out of 'intensive care
CARBON-FREE and NUCLEAR-FREE -A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy
"This roadmap could liberate us from an energy policy that is trashing our climate and our mountaintops" -S.David Freedman
                        President, LA Board of Harbor Administrators
                        Former Chair, Tennessee Valley Authority
"Arjun has produced a study which fulfills my greatest hopes- an urgent action plan to move the Earth in a dignified way out of intensive care. ....My message to all members of society, including local legislators, captains of industry, members of Congress... read this book"
              Helen Caldicott,M.D.
             Founding President, Nuclear Policy Researsh Institute
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time  about our 'global warming' situation. If you don't read it word for word, that's ok, it's pretty technical. But, keep it in your library; it's a great resource.
go to ofr more information

Phyllis Kaplan
CASA: A Center Advancing Sustainable Architecture