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Karen Penafiel

Vice President, Advocacy, Codes & Standards
Karen Penafiel joined the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International in December, 1989 and serves as vice president of the advocacy, codes and standards division of the association. In this capacity, Karen leads BOMA’s federal and state advocacy programs and oversees BOMA’s model building codes and voluntary standards efforts. As the association’s chief lobbyist, she works with Congress and the federal agencies on a wide range of issues affecting the commercial real estate industry. Karen has taken the lead on energy and sustainability issues for BOMA for the past decade and is the author of BOMA International’s two guidance documents on electricity deregulation. She is currently leading the association’s market transformation efforts and helped develop BOMA’s green lease guides.
Showtime or Showdown as Congress Considers Tax Issues?
There is a myriad of pending tax issues falling victim to a Congress that still claims to have broad tax reform on the agenda, but never seems to find the right time to explore it.
BOMA Updates Its Groundbreaking Energy Performance Contracting Model
In response to a rebounding commercial real estate industry and a renewed interest in energy retrofits, BOMA International has gathered a team of experts to create a contracting model for use by building owners to remove the uncertainty and risk of performing deep retrofits.
Measuring Up: The Long and Short of IPMS for Office Buildings
Depending on the measurement standard used, the area quoted in different markets for an equivalent building could vary by as much as 24 percent. These inconsistencies have led to confusion in markets, prompting many companies to develop their own costly processes for measuring their property assets.
TRIA Reauthorization: An Overdue Victory for CRE
The 114th Congress convened on January 5, and two days later, the House passed H.R. 26, which extends the federal terrorism risk insurance backstop program known as TRIA for six years. This was Congress working at warp speed, but the legislation it passed was long overdue.
ICC Remote Voting Period Underway
Instead of needing to attend the International Code Council (ICC)'s public comment hearings in person to be able to cast votes on codes proposals, building codes officials who are ICC voting members have the ability to vote remotely.
Where Does the Inaction of Congress Leave the CRE Industry? 
With just a handful of days remaining before Congress recesses to go back out on the campaign trail, progress has woefully collapsed on commercial real estate’s issues.
Unfinished Business 
Earlier this summer, the Senate passed legislation to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for an additional seven years by an overwhelmingly positive vote of 93-4. However, it’s a much rougher road to passage in the House, where the Financial Services Committee passed its TRIA bill (H.R. 4871) on June 20 by a more contentious vote of 32-27, one split along party lines.
Greening the Construction Codes 
This year, the International Code Council is considering changes for the 2015 edition of its green building code—the International Green Construction Code.
Changing the Game 
Five years ago, BOMA International was one of the founding members of the Better Buildings Alliance (originally called the Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance).
TRIA Expiration Inches Closer 
In January 2013, the real estate industry began in earnest to educate Congress on the need to act quickly to extend the federal terrorism risk insurance program set to expire at the end of 2014. Now, midway through the 2014 legislative session, we still have no concrete timetable for action. For BOMA, it can’t come soon enough. Our message to Congress is clear: Act now.
Celebrating Commercial Real Estate’s Energy Stars 
On April 29, EPA will honor the stars of Energy Star—and the commercial real estate industry will be well represented by a large number of companies that have achieved phenomenal results in improving energy efficiency across their portfolios.
Commercial Real Estate Gears Up For Tax Reform 
For the past several years, Congress has promised to reform our nation’s overly intricate tax code. However, thus far, we’ve done little more than talk in broad brush strokes. The road to simplification is mired in complications.
Is There a Role for Public Policy to Drive Market Transformation?
The move to green buildings must be driven by the private sector and the appropriate role of the federal government is to provide tools and voluntary incentive-driven programs, not mandates, says BOMA International Vice President, Advocacy, Codes and Standards, Karen Penafiel.
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