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What Can Congress Do to Build Better Buildings?

  • 485 Russell Senate Office Building (map)

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing to explore how the quality of buildings contributes to the national economy and promotes healthier environments, and to learn how Congress can support such benefits. Because Americans spend over 90 percent of their time indoors, the design, construction, and operation of buildings greatly influence the health, productivity, and safety of their occupants.

As Congress develops legislation and conducts oversight around infrastructure investment, it must also consider opportunities to promote overall sustainability, resilience, and well-being. Just as Congress has incorporated “Buy America” provisions so that dollars spent in America benefit Americans, Congress should also incorporate standards and provisions into infrastructure investment to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to promote healthy, safe, and productive environments and buildings that will benefit the occupants and, furthermore, the economy. Congress should also continue to support research and technical assistance, as well as the development of codes and standards to improve current building practices.

At this briefing, hear directly from the experts:

  • Understand how modern building codes provide $11 in flood, earthquake and hurricane mitigation benefits for every dollar invested; however, less than a third of communities at risk of natural hazards have adopted contemporary building codes.

  • Discover how light and lighting design play a role in your daily activities. Proper lighting design can help prevent depression, distraction, and a variety of other health risks.

  • Realize that, in the absence of a holistic focus on how buildings are designed, constructed and operated, federal investments made in buildings can fail to achieve their potential. There have been multiple deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning in HUD-funded housing, and the federal government continues to fund the construction of buildings to standards that do not meet FEMA’s minimum requirements for post-disaster reconstruction.

Speakers

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.