Washington State Approves Green Building Law

April 20, 2005

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill into law in early April that requires new public schools and other state buildings to meet green building standards. Under the new law, all major public agency facilities exceeding 5,000 square feet—including school buildings that receive state funding—would be required to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Among other benefits, the new law is expected to yield a 20 percent savings in annual energy costs in the new buildings. See the governor's press release.

In Arizona, Governor Janet Napolitano took a more direct route to encourage green building for new state buildings: in February, she issued an executive order. The order requires new state buildings to meet the Silver LEED standard, meet state energy efficiency standards, and supply 10 percent of their energy needs from renewable sources. The order allows new buildings to either generate their own renewable power or buy renewable energy credits. See the executive order (PDF 278 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, cities are also implementing green building requirements. In late March, the mayor of Scottsdale, Arizona, outdid her state's governor, declaring that all new city buildings be certified to the Gold LEED standard. See the U.S. Green Building Council press release.