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Green Building Standards Drafted For Use In Local Building Codes

Local governments may soon start including a minimum set of standards for high performance green buildings.

Tom Hicks, vice president for LEED, U.S. Green Building Council speaking at the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s Potomac Conference on Oct. 30, announced that Section 189, a set of minimum standards for high performance green buildings, is nearly ready for use by local governments in their building codes, Elizabeth Striano, a consultant and writer on sustainability and environmental issues, and founder of A Green Footprint LLC, reports.

The standards, a joint effort between The U.S. Green Building Council; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, cover site selection, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Standard 189, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, draws heavily on baseline requirements of USGBC’s LEED Green Building Rating System and will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects. Developers of the standard say that Section 189 could drive green building into mainstream building practices.

When used along with other market incentives such as expedited permitting, density bonuses, and tax credits, Section 189 “makes for a very solid platform,” for local governments, said Hicks, “a platform that takes into account where the market is going with green building.”

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