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Seattle, WA, develops incentives for LEED-certified construction

by Rena Ragimova Sep 30, 2008

The Achievement

Seattle, WA was the first city in the nation to formally adopt LEED as the design and performance standard for all city projects and today Seattle has also developed strong incentives for the private sector. Developers who pursue and achieve certification at the silver, gold and platinum levels for new projects receive financial incentives and technical assistance. In order to get significant bonuses to increase building height and density, developers building New Construction (LEED-NC) or Core & Shell (LEED-CS) projects in the central city core and adjoining areas must contribute to affordable housing and other public amenities and achieve at least LEED silver certification. The City also offers financial incentives and provides technical assistance on a case-by-case basis. Read more »

Saint Louis County, Minn. saves $20,000 on parking garage bills

by Rena Ragimova Sep 03, 2008

The Accomplishment

Saint Louis County painted the interior of a parking garage white as part of routine maintenance, and turned off one half of the lights and dimming the rest.

The Benefit

From these simple, low-cost steps, the County saves $20,000 per year on its energy bill. Read more »

San Jose, Calif., sets new green building standards

by Rena Ragimova Sep 01, 2008

The Achievement

In September 2008, San Jose, Calif., adopted a green building policy to reduce energy and water consumption in new residential, commercial and industrial construction projects. The policy is a step forward for San Jose’s Green Vision, which sets a goal that 50 million square feet of buildings built or retrofitted in the City will be “green” within 15 years.
The San Jose green building policy stipulates the following:

  • Checklists based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Build It Green's GreenPoint standards are to be used for all new buildings regardless of type or size.
  • Commercial and industrial buildings that are 25,000 square feet or more must meet LEED Silver standards.
  • Residential developments of 10 or more units are to meet basic LEED certification standards or achieve 50 points under the GreenPoint rating system.
  • Housing structures that are 75 feet high or taller are required to meet basic LEED standards.
  • Starting in 2012, commercial and industrial buildings of 10,000 square feet or more and residential buildings 75 feet high or taller must meet LEED Silver standards.


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El Cerrito, CA, Builds LEED-Certified City Hall

by Rena Ragimova Sep 01, 2008

The Achievement

El Cerrito, CA, has built a “green” City Hall, scheduled to open in October, 2008. The building features water-saving faucets, sensored lights, large windows, recycled wood, renewable materials, and sustainably produced paint, carpets, and counter tops. The two-story structure will house all city departments except police, fire, and recreation. The city is also proud to house its earthquake emergency operations center in City Hall, and in general create a healthy work environment that will save the city money and energy over time.

Although not planned, the city received a LEED certification award for the building through additional efforts such as the use of nontoxic cleaning materials and preferred parking for alternative-fuel vehicles; a solar panel system will also likely be installed in the near future.

>> View Construction Photos Read more »

Ashland, OR, installs solar arrays on public buildings

by Rena Ragimova Aug 31, 2008

The Achievement

Ashland, OR, has worked with the Bonneville Environment Foundation to install numerous solar arrays in such places as the Southern Oregon University Library, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Administration Building, Ashland City Council Chambers and Ashland Police Station.  The output from the solar arrays is sold locally by Ashland's municipal utility to local subscribers, delivered to the grid as generic power, and used for resale as green power.

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