Learn more about GBI's Guiding Principles Compliance Assessment Program
In 2006, nineteen federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), committing themselves to the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings. The MOU led to Executive Order (EO) 13423 (Jan 2007), requiring 15% of existing agency buildings to incorporate the sustainability measures of the Guiding Principles by 2015. With this EO, the Federal Government committed itself to providing national leadership in implementing goals and strategies for maintaining high performance and sustainable buildings.
As part of their bi-annual revision process, The Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG) provided High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Guidance in 2008, establishing separate Guiding Principles for Sustainable Existing Buildings and clarifying reporting requirements for accuracy and consistency across agencies. Following this document, the White House issued Executive Order 13514 in 2009. Section 2(g) of this Executive Order directs the head of each agency to:
"implement high performance sustainable Federal building design, construction, operation and management, maintenance, and deconstruction including by:
(iii) ensuring that at least 15 percent of the agency's existing buildings (above 5,000 gross square feet) and building leases (above 5,000 gross square feet) meet the Guiding Principles by fiscal year 2015 and that the agency makes annual progress toward 100-percent conformance with the Guiding Principles for its buildings inventory."
There are five Guiding Principles with which federal agency buildings must comply:
Each of these Guiding Principles have multiple criteria, ranging from reducing building energy use to meeting EPA's recycled content recommendations. Details on these criteria can be found in the Resources section at the bottom of this page as well as on the Whole Building Design Guide's (WBDG) website on Guiding Principles.
To measure compliance with the Guiding Principles, federal agencies have a few options, including EPA's Federal High Performance Sustainable Buildings Checklist, subjective paper evaluations by internal staff, or ad-hoc evaluations by external consultants. However, the Green Building Initiative's Guiding Principles Compliance Assessment Program sets the standard for accuracy, consistency, and credibility through a clear and simple yet robust third-party evaluation process.
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