As of October 1, 2007 the District has begun implementing it’s Green Building Act. It has started this by:
- Over the next 5 years phasing in the US Green Building Council standards
- Charging a green building fee to finance a Green Building Fund
- Start using the Green Building Fund to Finance:
- Give incentives and faster permit approval for builders and renovators who use the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building (LEED the way) Rating system.
- To educate builders, renovators, businesses, and residents to learn to build green.
- Expand the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ability to conduct green planning reviews and inspections.
These approaches were a result of the Green Building Task Force, a collaborative effort of green building experts, building industry professionals, nonprofits, environmentalists and government officials. To make environmentally friendly (responsible?) more attractive they found these time and yes money saving incentives for all developers to LEED the Way in all their new building projects.
We applaud D.C. for not only passing their Green Building Act of 2006, but to actual take the steps to follow it is a very refreshing change. This act not only targets public building, like most cities have passed, but also aims to require both private and public buildings to be environmentally friendly and energy saving. As of 2008 all District building will be required to go green and by 2012 ALL new/renovated buildings larger the 50,000 sf ft must be green.
Building green usually adds only 2% to the construction or up front costs. Considering the lower monthly casts in energy, waste disposal, water/sewage and just about all operation costs, that can be a great savings in the life of a building. Also taken into account the increased value, less impact on the environment, and even the improvement in general well being of those living and working in these buildings, being responsible in building just seems like the best choice.
We hope that more large, and even small cities follows the examples of our Capital.