Thursday, November 16, 2006

DC to Developers: Be Green


If legislation just drafted by the DC Council is approved next month, Washington might soon become the model for major cities looking to become more environmentally and energy friendly. The new bill would initially require all new DC-owned projects (offices, schools, housing, etc.) between 2007 and 2009 to meet “green” standards, with this requirement extended after 2009 to all building receiving more than 20% percent public financing. By 2012, DC will require every new commercial building over 50,000 sf to meet the green guidelines. This would mark the first time a major city has required private developers to follow green standards. “Green” requirements (which are defined by the Green Building Council) include such things as using recycled materials, placing plantings on roofs to help with water run-off and temperature control, more walking-friendly designs, etc. Those opposed to such a measure claim it will greatly add to constructions costs. However, supporters assert it would be much less, plus there are savings in the long term with more conservation-oriented designs. Now only if these green designs and plantings could absorb all the hot air emissions coming from Capitol Hill....

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