San Jose Builds Greener With Mandatory Building Policy
Written by: Ambika from buildaroo.com
San Jose has required City facilities to achieve at least LEED Silver Certification since 2002. On October 30, 2007, the San Jose City Council adopted a fifteen-year plan to transform San Jose into a center for sustainability, the "Green Vision." The Green Vision aims to make San Jose a world center of Clean Technology innovation, promote sustainable practices, and demonstrate environmental stewardship. Now San Jose is going a step further with its new private regulations, which will be among the most stringent in the country.
The new environmentally friendly building standards reduce energy and water consumption in new residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects. The new regulations are based on both the USGBC's LEED standards and Build It Green's GreenPoint standards.
Here's a bit from last week's City Council meeting agenda:
7.2 Green Building Ordinance for New Private Sector Construction.
* Recommendation: For lack of quorum, transmitted by the Transportation and Environment Committee on June 1, 2009, accept the staff report and consider approval of an ordinance amending Title 17 of the San José Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 17.84 to establish Green Building Regulations for Private Development to include the following:
(a) Establishing the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC), Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) and Build it Green’s (BIG) Green Point Rated
rating systems as the mandatory green building standards for the City of San José.
(b) Establishing the Green Building Refundable Deposit and procedures for the
collection and refund of the deposit.
(c) Describing the process for requesting an exemption from the established Green
Building Standards and pipeline provisions for determining how the standards
apply to projects already in progress.
(d) Listing implementation guidelines to illustrate the application of green building
requirements to projects with multiple buildings.
(e) Analyzing the cost implications resulting from green building requirements in
accordance with California Energy Commission requirements.
The policy, in development since last year, sets standards based on the square footage of a project, and will only get stricter with time. In 2012, even more stringent LEED standards will apply. The City's policies come with input from representatives of the construction industry, engineers, architects, electrical firms, professional organizations, and environmental groups.
San Jose is truly a model of sustainability for both California and the nation. We at buildaroo can only hope that others follow, and when they do, we'll keep you posted!
Looking for more on San Jose's policies? Check out the following resources: