This piece was originally published in the March 2018 issue of electroindustry.
Joseph Eaves, Director, Government Relations, NEMA
NEMA and members of the High Performance Building Coalition (HPBC) hosted and participated in a Hill day on February 21 to promote the inclusion of several policies in the upcoming infrastructure package. The group visited offices of members of Congress who sit on the House Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Including buildings in any infrastructure package would not only update the country’s aging building stock but also pay for itself through increased economic activity. Recent studies show that every $1 billion invested in nonresidential construction would add $3.4 billion to the gross domestic product, add $1.1 billion to personal earnings, and create or sustain tens of thousands of jobs. In the first quarter of 2016, the energy-efficient appliance and building subsectors directly employed more than two million Americans.
The HPBC urges Congress to recognize buildings as a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure as well as the roles they play in public safety, national security, and economic growth. The group also encourages Congress to ensure that opportunities to promote high performance and resilient systems in buildings, as well as retrofitting older buildings with these systems, are included in infrastructure proposals it considers.