The movement toward sustainable building design gathered momentum
recently as cities and states across the U.S. added their support with
green building legislation.
Nevada became the second state, behind Washington, to legislate
that all building construction using state funds will meet certain
green standards, when Gov. Kenny Guinn signed the bill into law in June.
The bill requires state-funded projects to meet the LEED (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the U.S. Green Building
Council (USGBC). Regulations in the law relate to energy, conservation,
construction and renovation. In addition, the law creates tax
incentives that allow for the abatement of taxes of up to 50% of
property taxes for up to 10 years on buildings meeting the LEED silver
Miami-Dade County, Fla., created incentives for green
construction standards for commercial and industrial buildings with an
ordinance passed by the Board of County Commissioners in May. The
ordinance also created incentives to attract solar energy equipment
manufacturers to the county.
Businesses that build to meet the LEED standard or standards of the
Florida Green Building Coalition, can be eligible to receive the
county’s Targeted Jobs incentives, and those that also incorporate
solar thermal, photovoltaic, fuel cell or cogeneration energy
technology can receive additional credits.
The Phoenix, Ariz., City Council approved green building
guidelines for new facilities in a June meeting. The city’s building
standards will be revised to require construction to the basic LEED
Phoenix has run a pilot program for several years to gain experience
building to the LEED standard, in which a fire station, libraries and a
convention center were built. The pilot program indicated that
construction to the basic LEED standard cost some 2-3% more, but that
the additional costs were recovered from reduced operation and
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson decreed by executive order
in July that all future city-owned buildings will be “environmentally
friendly.” The city will use the LEED standards.
“Heating and cooling buildings is consistently one of the largest uses
of energy in the country,” Anderson said. “If we are able to
effectively cut greenhouse gases and other pollutants at the city
level, the benefits and long-term energy savings will far outweigh the
initial building costs.”
Salt Lake City joins more than 25 other cities across the U.S. that have adopted the LEED standards.