Construction Law News Blog

Stimulus Act - Impact on Green Building

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”) offers multiple opportunities for property owners, developers and other stakeholders in the commercial real estate arena. This advisory specifically focuses on green building, as there are tens of billions of dollars in funding initiatives for green building in the Recovery Act. Many of the provisions are complex and some of the details have yet to be fully provided, so it is impossible to accurately summarize the details of each item. Frost Brown Todd will be embarking upon a series of seminars to more adequately explain the provisions of the Recovery Act. We will be contacting you soon with information with respect to dates and locations for these seminars.

Some of these beneficial changes are:

  • Federal Building Efficiency: $4.5 billion in funds are allocated to the U.S. General Services Administration (the “GSA”) to make federal buildings more energy efficient.
  • Creation of Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings: $4 million in funds were set aside for the establishment of an Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings within the GSA. The Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings may have the longest lasting impact on the green building movement based upon the future actions it takes regarding federal government office space and buildings overseen by the GSA.
  • Renovation of Department of Defense (the “DOD”) Buildings: A portion of the $4.2 billion in funds to modernize various DOD facilities will go toward green building related improvements.
  • Local Government Energy Efficiency and Conservation: $6.3 billion in grants to help state and local governments make investments that make them more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
  • ENERGY STAR Appliances: $300 million to provide consumers with rebates for buying energy efficient ENERGY STAR products to replace old appliances.
  • Public Housing Capital Fund: $4 billion is allocated for the Public Housing Capital Fund to retrofit the public housing projects to make them more energy efficient.
  • Internet Resources: A multitude of websites are being increasingly utilized and/or created in order to provide up-to-date information as to the available Recovery Act projects. The website www.fedbizopps.gov is an excellent resource for federal projects. As of February 27, 2009, conducting a “Quick Search” using the term “LEED” results in 313 specific federal opportunities. Another useful site is www.recovery.gov, which provides specific detail regarding the Recovery Act, including a useful tool that contains links to each of the individual state websites that have been created in connection with the Recovery Act.

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C. Michael Shull, III focuses his practice on construction law and litigation. Michael's client representations range from casinos and ENR Top 400 contractors to design firms and subcontractors.

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