U.S. Department of Energy

    Energy Efficiency in New Federal Buildings to Increase by 30%

    January 9, 2008

    DOE has established regulations that require most new federal buildings to achieve at least 30% greater energy efficiency than that of the prevailing building codes. The new standards, which were published in late December, are also 40% more efficient than the standards in the current Code of Federal Regulations and will help federal agencies meet Executive Order #13423, which mandated increased federal energy efficiency. Over the next ten years, the standards could save more than 40 trillion Btu and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million metric tons. The new regulation updates an interim final rule that DOE issued on December 4, 2006, and which applied to any federal building that entered the "design for construction" phase by January 3, 2007.

    The new regulations take effect on January 22 and apply to new federal commercial buildings, multi-family high-rise residential buildings, and low-rise residential buildings. The standards aim to address energy efficiency by looking at a building's entire performance, instead of relying on prescriptive requirements for building components and systems. The high standards put forth in the new regulations will also encourage federal builders to use an integrated approach when constructing new buildings. See the DOE press release and the final rule (PDF 77 KB). Download Adobe Reader.