- Global Green USA has opened a special application period for their Sustainable Neighborhood Assessment assistance specifically for communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Request for Proposals (RFPs) will be accepted online through April 30.
- EPA hosts the Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series to assist local governments as they explore and plan climate change and clean energy efforts. Check out the upcoming webcasts here.
Environmentally sound buildings are central to any local sustainability effort. These buildings try to minimize their energy profile by reducing not only the energy used to power them, but also the energy used to manufacture building products, bring water to the building, and convey and treat wastewater from them. They are also located in a way as to minimize the energy used to commute to and from the building.
Energy efficiency is only one element of a green building. Other elements include renewable energy, water efficiency, environmentally preferable building materials and specifications, waste reduction, toxics reduction, indoor air quality, and smart growth and sustainable development.
A recent boom in green building has brought with it a wealth of new resources. Green building products, services and information are more accessible than ever before. The cost of green building has become cheaper too. The cost gap between green and conventional building is closing.
To find out what local governments can do to fight climate change, look at the Green Building Chapter of Planning for a Sustainable Future - A Guide for Local Governments [PDF 4.9 MB, 58 pp].
What You Can Do
Invest in green building for your municipal buildings. The economic and environmental benefits will pay back quickly for your community. There are also opportunities to get recognized for the community’s green buildings. Energy-efficient buildings can be certified as ENERGY STARÒ certified buildings. Go to http://www.energystar.gov to learn more.
You can also work through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System to get your building certified. Learn more by going to: http://www.usgbc.org.
New Sunrise Yard in New York will be the base of operations for the facilities maintenance group of the NYC Department of Transportation and is part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s sustainable design pilot program. Using an integrated, consensus driven process, the project achieves a 65% energy savings over the technical baseline through measures such as use of high performance glass, clerestory roof system, a high efficiency lighting system, radiant floor heating, demand based ventilation, and use of high efficiency boilers. Demolition waste will be reused and water efficiency will be achieved through native landscaping and maximizing pervious services. Runoff is contained on the site and construction vehicles will use ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel.