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Green Building News

New Mexico Court Reinstates Energy Codes

In a setback for the Republican governor, an appeals panel has overturned efforts to weaken green building regulations

In New Mexico, a Republican governor's attempt to weaken green building regulations has been thwarted by a court ruling. The photo shows a home in West Basin, a green community at the edge of the Galisteo Basin Preserve in New Mexico.

An appeals court in New Mexico has overturned an attempt to weaken green building regulations originally implemented by Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson but opposed by the incumbent, Republican Susana Martinez.

According to a report at DesignBUILD, Richardson sought to expand renewable energy and green industries while in office. In 2006, Richardson ordered that all new state buildings and remodels of more than 15,000 sq. ft. meet the requirements for LEED Silver certification. According to the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, energy efficiency codes adopted after a lengthy public process were expected to reduce energy use in the state by 20% and save the owners of new homes as much as $66 million over 10 years.

Critics complained the regulations [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] to extra building costs and in 2011, the Construction Industries Commission amended the regulations. The Environmental Law Center objected, and in April the New Mexico Court of Appeals overturned the changes. The court ordered the Commission to take another look at the issue and go through another round of voting.

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