Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Issue Briefs

Energy Efficiency, Sustainability and Green Buildings


SMACNA urges Congress to enact aggressive efficiency and alternative energy tax incentives, green building grant programs, high efficiency infrastructure investments and a federal procurement policy that encourages far greater energy efficiency and sustainability in commercial, residential and public buildings.


SMACNA firms have led in the construction and policy efforts to create green buildings and schools with far improved HVAC systems providing major advancements to indoor air quality (IAQ). Without question, a wide range of state, county, local and federal buildings can quickly respond to the federal grants and partnership incentives now being considered by your transition team for inclusion in the forthcoming stimulus packages for 2009 and beyond. According to the Department of Energy Building Energy Data Book, HVACR utilizes approximately 60 percent of total building energy consumption and approximately $150 billion was spent to heat and cool both residential and commercial buildings in 2006. With this substantial expense in mind and the extraordinary efficiency gains available in newer technology and HVACR design and installation techniques merits your consideration for the stimulus package. Further, the fact that 60 percent of residential heating systems are more than a decade old with just 30 percent of commercial heating and approximately one-third of cooling equipment replaced in the last two decades offers huge and immediate energy savings. Additional benefits of the immediate investment in higher efficiency HVACR technology in public and private facilities are the obvious and extraordinary efficiency gains and environmental improvement for our planet.


As a leading association of firms specializing in the green building movement endorses a number of policy initiatives to support the goal of rapidly creating a sustainable, green economy that best serves building owners, our environment and our nation’s energy future. These include:

  • SMACNA believes the federal government should lead the way in environmental-friendly design and energy savings.  SMACNA supports legislation which would require Federal buildings to be designed, constructed and certified to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building ratings standards as defined by the United States Green Building Council. SMACNA also supports tax benefits for energy efficient improvements to properties, as well as new and expanded credits for “green building” construction.
  • SMACNA supports legislation reducing the depreciation recovery period for energy efficient mechanical equipment for nonresidential or residential rental property HVAC systems to improve environmental quality and reduce building operation expenses while saving energy.
  •  SMACNA supports federal tax and demand side management incentives and other forms of support for research, development and implementation of solar and energy efficient retrofit and technologies.
  • SMACNA supports the development and enforcement of indoor air quality guidelines for federal and state facilities and the accelerated development and implementation of technology that improves workplace air quality.
  • SMACNA supports federal tax and demand side management incentives and other forms of support for research, development and implementation of solar and energy efficient retrofit and alternative energy technologies.

Updated February 2009