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Federal Requirements

Hot Annotations

Executive Order 13834:
Efficient Federal Operations

EO 13834 was issued on May 17, 2018.

Explore Annotated EO 13834


Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)

The stated purpose of the act is "to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes." Search for excerptsopens in new window relevant to Federal buildings at DOE or view full text at GPO.govopens in new window.

Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005)

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a number of energy management goals for Federal facilities and fleets. Many of the energy management requirements of EPAct have been updated in EISA and subsequent Executive Orders. Search for excerptsopens in new window relevant to Federal buildings or view full textopens in new window at DOE.

Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992)

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 established several energy management goals, as well as requirements for water and fleet fuel management. Many of the energy management requirements have been updated in EISA, EPAct 2005 and subsequent Executive Orders, but requirements for low-flow water fixtures and alternative fuel vehicles still apply. View Act on GPO.govopens in new window

Executive Orders

Executive Order 13834

E.O. 13834, Efficient Federal Operations, was signed on May 17, 2018. It revised guidance on federal building operations and superseded previous Executive Orders. View Orderopens in new window

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings

Several Executive Orders (E.O.) and legislative mandates direct Federal Agencies to achieve specific high performance and sustainable building goals. According to the E.O. 13834 Implementing Instructionsopens in new window, agencies may do so by following six Guiding Principles:

  1. 1. Integrated Design Principles
  2. 2. Optimize Energy Performance
  3. 3. Protect and Conserve Water
  4. 4. Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality
  5. 5. Reduce the Environmental Impact of Materials
  6. 6. Assess and Consider Climate Change Risks

The Guiding Principles were originally established in 2006 in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Federal agencies at the White House, updated in 2008 based on recommendations of the Interagency Sustainability Working Group, and updated again in 2016. The latest two documents:   Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions and Determining Compliance with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. Note that the exact compliance criteria vary between new construction versus major renovation projects. In addition, leases are no longer included in reporting compliance, though “agencies should strive to incorporate as many of the Guiding Principles as possible in lease actions.”

A GSA study found that high-performance buildings meeting the Guiding Principles save energy, save water, cost less to operate, produce less waste, and have more satisfied occupants compared with typical buildings.

For additional guidance on meeting the Guiding Principles, search SFTool or see the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)non government site opens in new window.


Energy Efficiency Standard for Federal Buildings
10 CFR Part 433opens in new window is the energy efficiency standard for federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings and Part 435 is the standard for low-rise residential buildings. A final rule passed on July 9, 2013 updates the baseline Federal commercial standard to ASHRAE Std 90.1-2010. View Ruleopens in new window
Federal Energy Management and Planning

10 CFR Part 436 establishes the rules and objectives for Federal energy management and planning programs to promote life cycle cost effective investments in building energy systems, building water systems and energy and water conservation measures for Federal buildings. View Ruleopens in new window

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The Federal Acquisition Regulation governs how all government agencies are to make procurements. Specifically, Subchapter D Part 23 dictates how the sustainability aspect of those purchases must be made. FAR - Part 23opens in new window

Did You Know?

EPA studies indicate indoor levels of pollutants may be up to ten times higher than outdoor levels.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency (2008). An Introduction to Indoor Air Qualityopens in new window.

Improve indoor air quality with SFTool  

Case Study

Sense of Place

What makes a workplace special? What fosters a sense of attachment, engagement and identity? These are the kinds of questions that underlie the sense of place. The workplace is increasingly seen as a “brand” that conveys not only a place, but also the mission and values of the organization. The GSA workplace program combines branding and sense of place with sustainable approaches to create special places imbued with meaning and purpose.

View Case Study