Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Juneau Adopts Green Building Standard

Juneau has a green building standard now. The Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance in January that mandates new construction of CBJ buildings achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The requirement applies to buildings with a price tag of $5M or more.

Nationally, buildings use 39% of primary energy, 72% of all electricity, and account for 38% of CO2 emissions. In Juneau, buildings emit 41% of total carbon emissions. Green building is expected to support 7.9M jobs and pump $554 into the U.S. economy between 2009 and 2013—Juneau should see a similar boost in our local economy.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system established by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides third party verification. A report card for buildings, the point-based system awards projects for energy and cost savings, indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources.

There are high performance buildings in Juneau already. Harborview and Glacier Valley Schools were recently renovated to meet LEED certification. The Juneau School District earned the EPA’s Energy Star rating (a separate distinction). Just with energy efficiency efforts throughout the district, they expect to save $1 million in three years on their energy bill.

Juneau joins over 442 local governments nationwide to take the initiative on LEED. In Alaska, three local governments have a green building policy: Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough, and now Juneau. The ordinance will help CBJ achieve its objective of reducing carbon emissions 20% by 2012.

Read more about the green building scene in Sustainability Commissioner member Sarah Lewis’ recent Empire article.

No comments: