Government buildings go green in the USA

Any new federal buildings will have to meet a pass a series of green tests before they get the go ahead in the USA.

The Environmental Protection Agency and several other federal agencies have agreed to a set of guiding principles for designing, building and operating federal facilities to save energy and protect the environment.

Energy efficiency is a key element of the principles, according to the EPA.

"Whether you are running a business, a school, or the government of the United States, getting the most out of our energy dollars just makes sense," said Luis Luna, an EPA assistant administrator.

The guiding principles integrate design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor air quality and sustainable materials to ensure that new buildings are among the most energy efficient in the country, according to the EPA.

The federal government owns about 445,000 buildings with a total floor space of more than 3 billion square feet.

It leases an additional 57,000 buildings comprising 374 million square feet of floor space.

The other agencies agreeing to the guiding principles include the Defense Department and the General Services Administration.



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