Oregon created a permit pathway for using graywater to flush toilets and urinals in 2008, becoming the tenth US state to do so. To date less than a half dozen projects in the State (at least one residential, one institutional, and two food coops) have utilized this alternative method and most of them have uninstalled the systems. Treating and storing graywater to meet the high quality standard required is often cost-prohibitive. Several large-scale projects like Hassalo on Eighth and OHSU’s Collaborative Health Building have found it more cost effective to treat all combined wastewater (aka gray- and blackwater) for reuse together.
In 2011, Oregon created a permit pathway for reusing graywater to water landscapes in commercial and residential projects. There are three tiers to the permits,based on the level of treatment needed for final end use of the graywater. To date twenty-six tier 1 permits have been granted and one tier 2. The rules establish treatment and monitoring requirements, setbacks, access and exposure controls, site management practices and an annual renewal fee.
In 2015, Pennsylvania became the US first state to give buildings designed to the Passive House standard a scoring advantage, in the annual competitive award program to win low-income housing federal tax credits. In 2015-16, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded the credit to 18 “certifiable” projects totalling 922 housing units, making the state home to the largest concentration of Passive House dwellings in the US.
Already the most rigorous in the US, the 2015 Washington State Energy Code contains section C406 with eight “additional efficiency package options” to provide a flexible way for projects to comply and take energy efficiency to the next level. The code requires new commercial buildings to incorporate two efficiency options, spurring the state towards its mandate to reduce building energy use 70% by 2031.
As of 2015, Brussels, Belgium became the first region in the world to require the passive house standard for all new construction. By offering incentives to build 243 very low-energy projects, the BatEx or “Exemplary Buildings” program catalyzed the market and showed the standard could be achieved with minimal cost premiums. This resulted in a rapid increase in passive house buildings, thousands of new jobs, and sharp decline in carbon emissions.