SB 160 Passes Out, 26-14

It’s a tough going in the Senate right now, so I have to note SB 160 which passed the Senate floor on a vote of 26-14 this afternoon.

SB 160 is my perennial effort to make Virginia’s “VEES” standards a state protocol for new building construction and renovation.  Essentially, those standards require our contractors to maximize energy efficiency and resource conservation in new state buildings, i.e. by conforming to LEED or an equivalent design standard.

While there is some initial extra cost (1-3%) in capital, those costs are immediately amortized in utility savings.  Over the life of the building, much more can be saved.

The VEES has been adopted by the Kaine and McDonnell administrations by Executive Order, but never formally adopted into State Code.  Ergo, SB 160.

This bill had passed the Senate in years past with minimal comment, then died in the House.  Now the House has an equivalent measure.  However, with the suddenly toxic atmosphere in the Senate, I was afraid my version might not “get off the floor.”

Happy to pass that hurdle.  Now on to the House …



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