District of Columbia to Require Green Building Standards

Great news from the nation’s capital… the local government of the nation’s capital, that is… From ENN:

Waterless urinals and recycled carpet could become common building features in the nation’s capital under green construction legislation passed Tuesday by the District of Columbia Council.

The bill, which is expected to be approved by Mayor Anthony A. Williams, would make Washington the first major city to require private developers to adhere to the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. Even before the legislation, the district was already on track to open the nation’s first green-certified stadium.

The bill passed Tuesday would require all commercial development of 50,000 square feet or more to meet the building council’s standards starting in 2012. The requirement applies to both new construction and significant renovations of old buildings.

All city-owned commercial projects funded in 2008 or later would have to attain certification, and district-funded housing projects would be required to follow similar environmental standards. The bill also orders the mayor to adopt separate standards for schools _ which the green building council is now developing.

“I’m told that it’s the most comprehensive green building legislation in the U.S.,” said D.C. Council member Jim Graham, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It doesn’t rely simply on platitudes; it really does have requirements.”

While DC will be the first major city to require USGBC standards for new construction, it’s not the first local government in the US: Pasadena, California, and Montgomery County, Maryland, beat the District to the punch. That’s a minor point, though — I simply love the idea of idiots like James Inhofe and Joe Barton having to see all this green building going on around them. And maybe, just maybe, it will inspire further action from our national leaders. We can hope, right?

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