Washington, D.C., lawmakers are preparing to pass a tough new “green building” code, which supposedly will make our buildings more energy efficient and save money. But experience with such codes elsewhere show that they don’t always work as planned.
My colleague Todd Myers of the the Washington Policy Center has done a great job highlighting the many pitfalls associated with green building mandates. Myers has shown consistently that “green building” does not live up to its energy-saving promises. In particular, he points out that many of the certified “green schools” in his home state of Washington are among the least energy efficient schools. In a recent blog post, he explains: “[Green] Schools cost more to build and then end up using more energy, not less, in most cases. The state [Washington] itself confirmed those findings in its audit completed last year.”
A recent news story in USA Today, Myers notes, shows that the failure of “green” schools is a national problem. “[T]he real winners with green building standards aren’t students or the environment. They are the architects and engineers who charge more to design these buildings, and the politicians who tout support for ‘green’ standards in public campaigns, even if the schools are short on delivering real benefits,” Myers explains.
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