Bill Prohibits Dept. of Defense Funds for LEED

WASHINGTON — A section of a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 322-96 prohibits Department of Defense funds from being used for LEED Gold or Platinum certification and requires cost-benefit analysis and long-term payback for additional energy-efficiency improvements.

Section 2831 of HR 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012, requires a report on the energy-efficiency improvements achieved and the long-term payback of using ASHRAE standard 189.1 versus 90.1 for sustainable design, development and construction, or renovation of building structures.
Additionally, the bill requires “a cost-benefit analysis and return on investment for energy-efficiency attributes and sustainable design achieved through Department of Defense funds being expended in the pursuit of LEED gold or platinum certification,” as well as a comprehensive strategy for the pursuit of design and building standards based on the analysis and payback, according to the text of the bill.
The bill prohibits the use of the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2012 funds for achieving any LEED gold or platinum certification, unless they impose no additional cost.
The Secretary of Defense may waive this prohibition if the Secretary notifies the congressional defense committees at least 30 days before the obligation of funds toward achieving LEED gold or platinum certification.
The notification must include a cost-benefit analysis of the decision and demonstrate payback for the energy improvements or sustainable design features.
The bill has been referred to the Senate’s Committee on Armed Services.
“Congressional staff indicates the Senate bill will be different than the House version, and at this point it is unclear whether the above provisions will be included in the Senate legislation,” according to ASHRAE.