city, downtown, buildings

State House Votes for “Green Buildings”

New state construction projects would have to meet high-performance energy standards under legislation that’s just passed the House with a 163 – 32-vote.  Supporters call it a win for both the environment and the taxpayer.

PennFuture policy director Steve Stroman says “green buildings” typically use 20 – 40% less energy.  “A green building may cost 2% more up-front, but over the life of the building cost the taxpayer 20 – 30% less money, so they’re great investments.”   

The bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery), says the payback for a “green building” typically appears after four to seven years.  But if the state is building long-term, she says it needs to be thinking long-term.  

“We never build a building that we don’t intend to have around for 30, 50 or even 150-years,” Rep. Harper tells Radio PA.  “So to bake these energy efficiency standards into the building in the beginning makes sense economically.” 

HB 34 would require the Department of General Services to develop energy-efficient standards, which will be used when building or renovating a state-owned or leased facility.  Both the House and Senate passed similar bills last session, but the differences were never reconciled.  HB 34 now awaits consideration by the state Senate.

State Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives

The 22-foot state capitol Christmas tree will be lit on Dec. 6th.

The 22-foot state capitol Christmas tree will be lit on Dec. 6th.

Pennsylvania’s Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in the rotunda Wednesday morning, and was hoisted into place by a team of workers from the Department of General Services.   

Over the next few days the tree will be prepped and decorated in time for a tree lighting ceremony on December 6th

The 22-foot concolor was grown by Strathmeyer Forests in York County, and donated by the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association.