Another US City Sets LEED Mandates and Goals

Created:
Wed, 2009-09-23 23:03

It seems that most of the building industry is wondering about the future of LEED. How will it shape my work? What’s interesting is that many cities and states are at the forefront of LEED with LEED mandates and incentives for government and commercial buildings.

Many are realizing that the "all growth is good growth" and "grow at all cost" mentalities have not always been the best long-term policies. LEED projects currently take more effort, though, and are sometimes costly to build, but they are better, healthier buildings that improve our quality of life.

LEED is not going away and will only become more prevalent. As a great example, below I’ve posted a recent article from a municipality in the process of legislating LEED mandates. Good job, Jersey City. You can find the original article at the Jersey Journal.

 

GREEN CITY GOALS

Officials trying to push pollution, waste out

Monday, December 29, 2008

By PAUL KOEPP

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

In the past, calling Jersey City a “green” city may have conjured up images of pools of chromium-infested water.

But the city is now trying to put on a more environmentally friendly face, with Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy rolling out proposals aimed at energy-efficient and pollution-free vehicles, buildings and supplies.

One ordinance Healy is asking the City Council to consider would require the city to purchase hybrid electric vehicles or cars that use alternative fuels like biodiesel or ethanol, unless the cost is 30 percent higher than that of a normal vehicle. In that case, the city would have to buy a fuel-efficient car getting at least 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

City building projects, including renovations costing at least $1 million, would have to conform to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for energy efficiency, resource conservation and waste reduction set by the U.S. Green Building Council. The standards could be waived if meeting them boosts costs by 20 percent, according to another proposed ordinance.

A proposed new headquarters for the Department of Public Works and the Jersey City Incinerator Authority would have to meet the LEED Platinum rating, the highest USGBC standard, officials said.

In addition, the city would provide incentives to private builders, offering refunds of between 10 and 25 percent of permit fees, depending on which level of LEED certification is reached.

Yet another measure would require the purchase of green products and materials that are certified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency or the nonprofit organization Green Seal. The city could waive the requirement if the products cost 75 percent more than conventional products.

These proposals have been sent to the City Council for review and are expected to be introduced next month.

Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection say the initiatives make up the most comprehensive “green” effort in the state. 

“This really puts Jersey City as one of the leaders,” said Athena Sarafides, of the DEP’s sustainability and planning office. “It’s a pretty substantial step.”

Healy also wants residents to pitch in by doing things like taking mass transit and using their own canvas shopping bags to cut down on “urban tumbleweeds.”

“I’ve hated plastic bags for 30 years,” Healy said.

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