The U.S. Dept. of Energy has proposed a rule that would require new and renovated federal buildings to incorporate sustainable design, siting and construction methods.

The proposal, published in the Federal Register on May 28, would implement provisions of 2005 and 2007 energy laws and President Obama’s Oct. 5, 2009, executive order requiring agencies to develop plans to improve federal buildings’ energy efficiency. Comments on the DOE proposal are due on July 27.

Emma Cheuse, an Earthjustice attorney, calls the proposal a “positive step” but hopes DOE goes further. She says additional moves could include aligning efficiency targets with current standards and designing buildings to be less dependent on fossil fuels.