Landmark Efficiency Legislation, Supported by the AIA|WA, to be Signed Today

AIAWA supported, testified, and worked endlessly to get SB 5854, designated the Efficiency First Bill, through the legislature this session.

Today the efforts will result in success when the bill gets signed by Governor Gregoire at 10:30 a.m. AIA members, and members of environmental groups, will be present during this significant event.

This legislation marks a turning point for Washington as the state will now be a leader in environmental building methods. The bill pushes for the 2030 goal set by the AIA National. Although specific percentages aren’t set, an annual reduction mandated in the bill of slow and steady reductions, will produce 70 percent more efficient construction in all new homes and commercial buildings by 2031. Washington will have attained the National goal within one year of the ideal.

The bill produces another result that is highly important during the current economic crises: the creation of jobs. According to a recent Puget Sound Business Journal article this legislation, “could generate a business bonanza for companies ranging from architects and engineers to mechanical contractors.”

The article goes on to state that, “the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that increasing buildings’ energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020 could create 800,000 jobs nationwide. A 70 percent efficiency increase, as called for the legislation, would have a greater impact.

In the Seattle-King County area, a report by the Seattle Jobs Initiative said that the building industry will add 2,200 jobs, focused in whole or in part on energy efficiency, between 2009 and 2016.” (You can read a PDF of the entire article here.)

The AIAWA will continue to work for legislation that is profitable and impactful for both architects and the environment; and to ensure that goals set by this legislation will be followed. Our thanks goes out to all those members who helped make this law a reality through hard work and dedication.

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