Public Comments for 01/25/2021 Appropriations - Capital Outlay Subcommittee
HB2001 - State and local buildings, certain; building standards.
Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). While imperfect, the substitute bill being offered today adds to the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The substitute adds forward-looking EV ready infrastructure. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. The sub also requires agencies to reporting on several building outcomes as a one-time step to providing important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. We do urge replacing the phase “obtain prior written approval from” on page 2, line 39 with “notify” as it should not be burdensome for a state project to build exemplary buildings exceeding the standard. We see this state buildings part of the sub as a first step toward improving the state high performing building program to enable the state to make bigger gains in utility cost savings as well as improve resilience. In the near future, updating the VEES standard, which relies on a 2012 code, is essential, as well as adding resilience features. A more robust reporting program integrated with state benchmarking is also a critical next step for accountability and continuous improvement. The substitute bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. With technical support from state agencies, local governments could benefit from green building. Recognizing that some local governments in Virginia do, and others do not currently use green building, the sub bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the sub provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's sub bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the substitute bill as better than existing law, and ask the subcommittee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Leyen Organization: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, we SUPPORT HB2001 and thank Delegate Helmer for bringing this bill forward. The transportation sector is responsible for 48% of carbon emissions in Virginia, Gas & diesel vehicle emissions also greatly harm air quality and public health. This bill affords the Commonwealth and its localities an opportunity to lead on transportation electrification by making prudent public investments in charging infrastructure that will encourage private sector engagement. Tackling energy waste and emissions also requires that when we build, we do so mindful of the lifecycle costs and environmental impact of projects constructed with taxpayer dollars. This bill provides agencies, institutions, and localities with the chance to adopt building standards that improve energy efficiency, decrease carbon emissions, and save money. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Harnish Organization: Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, I am writing in favor of Delegate Helmer's HB2001. This bill, if passed, will improve the building performance standards for state-owned public buildings while also setting a building performance metric for locality-owned public buildings. We appreciate the delegate's willingness to work with us and our members to make changes to the original version. We hope it is the committee's will to pass HB 2001. Sincerely, Chelsea Harnish Executive Director VA Energy Efficiency Council

Last Name: Smith Organization: Virginia Association of School Superintendents Locality: Palmyra

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents feels that if this bill applies to school boards , then it could significantly increase the potential cost of construction and renovation of school buildings. This particularly true for small and rural schools. Thank you, Dr. Tom Smith VASS

Last Name: Gerena Organization: Drive Electric RVA Locality: Chesterfield County

My name is Charles Gerena and I am a Chesterfield County resident and proud owner of an electric vehicle since January 2014. I consider myself to be very fortunate. Thanks to my income and the fact that I own a home, I have been able to reap the benefits of transportation electrification. My Nissan LEAF emits no pollution, making the air around me cleaner, even when I’m sitting in traffic. I have saved money on maintenance from all of the fan belts and spark plugs and other parts in an internal combustion engine that I haven’t had to replace. I have saved money on fuel since electricity is far cheaper than gasoline and less volatile. And, most importantly, I have done my part to save the planet from the worst effects of climate change. That is why I am asking you to help broaden the benefits of transportation electrification to state and local governments. HB 2001 would ensure that major construction and renovation projects undertaken with taxpayers’ money can meet future fleet electrification, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction goals established through legislation (like the Virginia Clean Economy Act) and executive action (like the Virginia Energy Plan). Such “future proofing” is often cheaper than retrofitting buildings to meet such goals, especially when it comes to the installation of charging infrastructure. In addition to the benefits I have already mentioned, fleet electrification would be in Virginia’s best interest because it would increase consumer awareness of EV technology as government workers interact with the general public. It would also get more drivers behind the wheels of EVs, essentially creating an on-going test drive program. Some local governments may tell you that this bill amounts to an “unfunded mandate.” The state can decide for themselves how they want to spend their revenue, but why should cities and counties be required to install charging infrastructure? If a local government can’t afford to install charging stations right away, its representatives can opt for putting in the conduit and wiring to install stations later. If they can’t afford that level of “EV readiness,” they can apply for an exemption from the bill’s requirements. Regardless, making the installation of such infrastructure the default consideration for a major construction or renovation project will make it more likely to happen in the first place. Some fleet operators never consider electrification because no one talks about it. In sum, I ask that the subcommittee vote to move HB 2001 to the full committee for consideration. Thank you for your time, and thank you for all that you do on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Last Name: Jackson Locality: North Chesterfield

Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

Last Name: Kish Organization: Sierra Club Locality: Richmond

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter supports HB2001.

Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). Delegate Helmer's bill strengthens the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The bill as passed out of subcommittee clarifies the requirements, adds forward-looking zero emission vehicle and EV-ready infrastructure, and allows (not requires) state agencies to include resilience and on-site energy features on their projects. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. Importantly the sub also provides for periodic reporting on implementation outcomes, which will yield important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. The bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. Technical support from state agencies will be essential to help all local governments understand, apply, and benefit from green building. Recognizing that some local governments in Virginia do not currently use green building, the bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. These aspects of the proposed program could weaken the outcomes but are intended to allow local governments flexibility and stronger standards could be added by amendment in the future. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the bill provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard and alleviates them of any reporting or other burden. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the bill and ask the committee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Kent Locality: Great Falls

Dear Members of the Committee: I am writing to request the Committee favorably report HB 2001 Building standards for certain state and local buildings. Many steps are needed to address the issue of carbon emissions, a serious challenge facing this state in the next decade. Actions need to be taken now, and this bill provides a specific opportunity to take one of those steps. HB 2001 addresses an important component of reducing carbon emissions: the expansion of electric vehicle ownership. Transportation causes almost half of Virginia’s CO2 emissions, and 70% of that amount comes from personal vehicles alone, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Owners of Electric vehicles, however, need access to charging stations. This bill supports that need. Therefore, I request that you move this bill forward. Thank you.

Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). Delegate Helmer's bill strengthens the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The substitute bill being offered today clarifies the requirements, adds forward-looking zero emission vehicle and EV-ready infrastructure, and allows (not requires) state agencies to include resilience and on-site energy features on their projects. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. Importantly the sub also provides for periodic reporting on implementation outcomes, providing important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. The substitute bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. With technical support from state agencies, local governments could benefit from green building. Recognizing that local governments in Virginia do not currently use green building, the sub bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the sub provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's sub bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the substitute bill and ask the subcommittee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Mester Organization: City of Falls Church local government Locality: County of Fairfax

HB2001: On behalf of City Council I wanted to advise you of concerns the City of Falls Church (CFC) has regarding HB2001 Procurement Bill related to design certain buildings and renovations with Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards. CFC has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability from stormwater to energy. CFC has adopted WMCOG’s GHG emission reduction goals and has adopted LEED Silver with Energy Star ratings for all public facilities. The recently renovated City Hall was just awarded LEED Silver and the Public Library current project score card indicates Silver as well. The just open new high school is net zero ready. That said we do believe the choice of standards should be locally determined, new standards such as these should go thru the normal building code development and review and design/construction state mandates such, even for such a worthy goal should be funded by the state. On a final note many localities, including CFC, would have to hire an outside consultant to conduct the requires exception cost analysis. Thank you for the consideration of these points. Cindy L. Mester, ICMA-CM Deputy City Manager 300 Park Avenue, Suite 203E Falls Church, VA 22046 phone: 703-248-5042 (TTY 711) cell: 571-641-5586 email: cmester@fallschurchva.gov

Last Name: Godfrey Organization: Virginia Advanced Energy Economy Locality: Reston

Va. AEE SUPPORTS passage of HB. 1811. This smart legislation will help to ensure that the Commonwealth's government procures energy- and water-efficient products, helping save taxpayers money while supporting Virginia's energy efficiency industry. Va. AEE supports the underlying intent of HB. 2001 and the work the patron has done with stakeholders to continue refining this bill in order to ensure it achieves its objectives. We encourage the subcommittee to pass the legislation and look forward to working with the patron to ensure it garners broad support as it moves towards passage in the full Chamber.

Last Name: Meren Organization: Fairfax County Public Schools Locality: Fairfax County

I support this legislation and it is in line with the Fairfax County Public Schools Legislative Program: “The Fairfax County School Board supports efforts to reduce the County’s greenhouse gas emissions and operational demand for energy through efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and education; state incentives, opportunities, and targeted goals for the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency; and net-zero construction; and removing existing barriers to such efforts.” (Legislative Program, Item I 1) Thank you, Melanie Meren Member, Fairfax County School Board, Hunter Mill district

HB2177 - Capital outlay plan; repeals existing six-year capital outlay for projects to be funded.
Last Name: Davenport Organization: Virginia Community College System Locality: Hanover

Staff from the Virginia Community College System are available to answer any questions on the projects listed in lines 81-87 of HB 2177. The VCCS is currently in preliminary discussions with Norfolk Public Schools, the City of Norfolk, and the Greater Norfolk Corporation on the feasibility of the proposed CTE and Workforce Center in line 85 of the bill. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 29.

Last Name: Flores Organization: Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam Locality: Chesterfield

Mr. Chairman, members, and staff, The Administration supports this annual update to the Commonwealth's Capital Outlay Plan. Respectfully, Joe Flores, Deputy Secretary of Finance

Last Name: Jackson Locality: North Chesterfield

Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

End of Comments