Sunday, October 28, 2007
Beatley Chapter 10 gave many great examples of how European cities are building and renovating their residential and institutional properties using eco-technologies. One really important concept from this chapter was how eco-building can spread to new cities once it is implemented and tested by another city. For example, Ecocolonia, Netherlands built a new development using eco-technologies such as green roofs, passive solar technology, recycled building materials, and solar hot water heating units. This development served as a testing ground for many other cities that begin using the technologies that Ecoclonia found successful. I believe that if a few US cities really started to adopt these new technologies they could educate and show other cities that it is possible. Another idea for the US would be to build new government and public buildings using green methods. This would show the people that the US really supports and feels building ecologically is important. The Apollo Alliance chapter on High Performance Buildings talks about implementing green building standards for public buildings. An American city that uses a green buildings standard for public buildings is Seattle Washington. Seattle Washington requires that all city projects over 5000 square feet must meet LEED standards. The Apollo alliance also give some ideas on how to make green building more attractive to the private sector. Using property taxes, grant programs and other incentives all make green building more enticing. In Arlington, Virginia the government said that if a company builds LEED certified building they will modify some of the zoning regulations and allow height increases. Incentives programs like these could really change the way America builds, because it encourages green buildings.