HPBCC Hosts Event to Discuss Plans for Building
May 25, 2010
The High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC)
hosted a luncheon in Washington, D.C., yesterday titled Building
STAR Legislation: Retrofitting Our Way to Energy Saving and Job
Creation. The event, which was co-sponsored by a number of
groups and organizations, including the Glass Association of North
America (GANA), included presentations by several players in the
ongoing push for Congress to enact Building STAR legislation.
"GANA leadership recognizes that the glass industry must engage
not only on purely technical issues, but advocate on behalf of the
industry as well, said Bill Yanek, GANA executive vice president.
Building STAR melds energy efficiency performance standards
with a policy initiative using direct rebates to 'incentivize' commercial
building retrofits in the near-term (18 months)."
Yanek adds that GANA: Technical expertise with regard to energy
is being led by its technical director Urmilla Sowell and energy
consultant Dr. Tom Culp.
"On the policy front, GANA: Advocacy will continue to partner
with allies such as the Energy Future Coalition to hopefully push
a Building STAR through Congress that reflects the unique potential
energy-efficient glass brings to commercial buildings."
Reid Detchon, executive director of the Energy Future Coalition,
was just one of the events speakers. He explained that the
origins of Building STAR date back about 18 months.
We had a sense that energy efficiency was making progress
too slowly, he said. So we wanted a target to think
about. He said they decided to follow the same plans that
the city of Chicago had laid out: to retrofit 40 percent of the
buildings in the country by 2020.
Were trying to get the most out of the stimulus and
also what happens after the stimulus, he said. We want
to be sure were creating a sustainable industry thats
moving toward this  target.
In order to do so, he said they decided to move beyond the traditional
energy efficiency advocacy groups and reach out to contractors,
manufacturers, labor unions, etc., in addition to the advocacy groups.
When explaining why they are focusing on the commercial building
sector, Detchon pointed out that those involved with this sector
represent a group that is ready for and familiar with large-scale
work and the workforce is highly qualified to handle this type of
He explained that two or three years ago when everyone was hard
at work they may not have seen the need for this type of program.
Now, an unfortunate aspect of the recession has been the
tremendous layoffs in the construction industry. Both the trades
people and contractors see [Building STAR] as an opportunity to
engage the retrofit market, said Detchon.
He added that with both contractors and the workforce ready he
is confident that once Building STAR is passed people will be back
to work quickly.
"GANA is very appreciative of the recognition of our Energy
Future Coalition membership that Reid Detchon provided from the
podium during yesterday's briefing," added Yanek.
Brian Pitman, GANA director of marketing and communication added,
"We are very pleased to be able to represent the industry while
providing them a way to witness the importance of the Building STAR
legislation. Beginning Wednesday, June 26, everyone in the industry
will be able to watch a rebroadcast of the briefing on demand, sponsored
by Guardian Industries Corp., on the GANA: Advocacy website.
HERE to access the website.)
Only minutes before yesterdays presentations began, GANA
was granted permission to provide a live stream of the sessions
from its website. Steve Farrar, director, international business
for Guardian Industries, viewed the presentations and said they
provided a good overview of the Building STAR program and some of
Clearly there will be job-creation benefits the American
Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that 187,000 jobs
will be created by Building STAR between 2010 and 2011, he
However, Farrar said there was no mention yesterday of an issue
that is important to the glass industry (and related fenestration
industries): the bills as introduced in the Senate (S. 3079) and
under discussion in the House do not include storefronts and curtainwalls
as eligible for cash rebates.
In the current drafts, only residential-type windows for
"punched openings" are eligible. GANA has raised this
issue with leaders of the coalition helping to structure the program,
and there is agreement that the problem needs to be remedied. We
are close to agreement on language.
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