WASHINGTON — Two California politicians plan to make Capitol Hill's buildings more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) says she wants employees at House of Representatives buildings to use environmentally friendly operating procedures. She has asked the House's chief administrative officer to report back on how a “green the Capitol” initiative could be implemented in the House's three office buildings, which have a total of 3.65 million square feet.
Doug Catlin of the U.S. Green Building Council is working with the staff of the House Science and Technology Committee to investigate ways to save energy in the 42-year-old, 2.4-million-square-foot Rayburn Office Building, which used by the House of Representatives.
Catlin suggests fine tuning or replacing heating and cooling systems, and using solar panels, additional vegetation for shade, roof gardens to cool and collect rainwater, energy-use monitoring, and windows with film coatings to reduce heat and UV rays.
In the Senate, Barbara Boxer (D-California), the chairwoman of the Environmental and Pubic Works Committee, has introduced a two-part program for more efficient use of office lighting that could cut the use of electricity by 50 percent. The program would make lighting more efficient by installing ballast lights that adjust inside lighting based on the amount of daylight.