PA State Rep. Matt Smith’s Green Building Legislation passes unanimously

Great news for Pennsylvania! State Representative Matt Smith's green building legislation will provide tax incentives to both commercial and residential builders for energy efficiency and green design. The full text of the press release is below, here is a brief sound byte from Rep. Smith. I will follow this up with more details as they become available.

HARRISBURG, Dec. 12 – State Rep. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny, said legislation he authored to promote environmentally friendly construction and renovation in Pennsylvania unanimously passed the House of Representatives today during the special session on energy independence.

“This legislation will not only pay off environmentally, but economically as well,” Smith said. “By encouraging the use of environmentally smart materials and building design, we will generate new economic growth and development in an industry that has nowhere to go but up.”

The legislation, Special Session H.B. 5, would provide tax credits to commercial or residential owners or tenants for the construction of “green” buildings, or the renovation of non-green buildings into green buildings. These buildings, known as high-performance buildings, must meet specific size standards in order to qualify, and must also meet specific environmental standards in several areas, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“Green buildings are more comfortable to live and work in, and that increases quality of life at home and productivity on the job,” Smith said. “Green buildings also save on the cost of energy in operating the building over the life of the structure.”

The special session on energy independence was called by the governor over the summer. During the special session, only legislation affecting energy policy can be introduced, debated and passed

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