Thursday, June 21, 2012

BOMA International Advocacy Update - Landlord–Tenant Collaboration Guide, Code Hearings, Regulation of Lead, and More!

Landlord–Tenant Collaboration Guide Conquers the Split–Incentive

BOMA International in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute has released "Working Together for Sustainability: The RMI–BOMA Guide for Landlords and Tenants," a free e–book filled with resources to help landlords and tenants collaborate on energy efficiency goals for buildings. The guide outlines five steps both tenants and landlords can initiate that impact and addresses green lease and split incentive issues. The e–book also includes dozens of online resources across the five major "steps" of collaboration.

Download for free.

BOMA Defends CRE in Building Code Hearings

BOMA’s building codes team recently attended the 12–day International Code Council (ICC) Hearings in Dallas to establish the requirements for the 2015 International Building Codes. In preparation for the meeting, BOMA staff reviewed and then testified on many of the 1600 code change proposals, many of which would have negatively impacted the real estate industry. This hearing was the first of two hearings; its purpose was to establish the recommendations by the ICC committees.
We had some major successes! Our opposition to mandatory firefighter air replenishment stations was moved to the appendix (where its adoption by states and localities will not be automatic); we harmonized the ICC with the revised 2010 ADA standards; and electronic water leak detection for all plumbing fixtures were not approved, based on our objection. A complete report of the results is listed on the website.

The final action hearings on these recommendations will be completed this October in Portland, Oregon.

House Bill Would Limit EPA’s Regulation of Lead

On June 7, Rep. John Sullivan (R–Okla.) introduced H.R. 5911, the "Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012" to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act relating to lead–based paint renovation and remodeling activities. The intent of the legislation is to clarify some outstanding issues related to recent regulations that have already gone into effect for residential real estate, and to apply them to any future rulemaking for commercial buildings. The legislation would also prohibit The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing any new regulation applicable to target housing or commercial and public buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action. The bill has fourteen cosponsors. The Senate companion bill (S. 2148) was introduced March 1 by Sen. James Inhofe (R–Okla.).

Congress Likely to Face "Fiscal Cliff" at Year’s End

Should it fail to act prior to the November elections, Congress will have to address what has become known as the "fiscal cliff" during a lame duck session, as a wide array of temporary tax rates will expire and a variety of spending cuts will take effect that together total roughly $7 trillion.  In addition, Congress must also consider how to handle the tax “extenders,” most of which expired at the end of 2011, including the 15-year leasehold depreciation provision.  Among the tax provisions set to expire include the Bush era tax cuts, reduced rates on dividends and capital gains, the payroll tax break, reduced rate and exemption levels for the estate tax, and the patch to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). On the spending front, Congress must decide how to address automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs that were triggered as a result of the failed super committee, as well as reductions in Medicare reimbursements for doctors and emergency benefits for the long–term unemployed that will run out.

BOMA Protects Industry Interests at ASHRAE

BOMA staff has been very active at a variety of ASHRAE Standards meetings. Many of the proposed revisions to the standards continue to create major threats to the real estate industry. With the hard work of the Advocacy, Codes and Standards staff, BOMA has been successful in many areas. A few of those accomplishments include:

  • BOMA led efforts to force reconsideration of the 50 percent added energy efficiency target in the development of the 2013 edition of ASHRAE 90.1.
  • BOMA successfully argued for inclusion of more realistic economic factors in the cost effectiveness threshold in ASHARE 90.1.
  • BOMA efforts resulted in defeat of costly and unnecessary certifications for energy modeling to meet the energy standard (90.1) performance compliance path.
  • BOMA continues to be involved in the ASHRAE process to protect commercial real estate interests.

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