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City Seeks Feedback on Green Building Policy

The City of Portland is seeking feedback on propesed regualtions to promote the construction of earth-friendly commercial and residential buildings.

Commissioner Saltzman and the Office of Sustainable Development (OSD) recently opened the public comment period for the proposed High Performance Green Building Policy.  This innovative policy seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy costs and accelerate the growth of green jobs in Portland.

 The proposed green building policy was developed by OSD staff with input from stakeholders in the design, development, construction and real estate sectors.  It includes the following components to encourage energy efficiency, sustainable site development and material use, waste reduction, water conservation and improved indoor environmental quality:

 New commercial buildings larger than 20,000 square feet would receive a reward payment if they achieve a high performance green building certification, such as LEED Gold or Platinum, or would qualify for a fee waiver by meeting LEED Silver certification. Projects that build to the minimum Oregon code would pay a one-time fee to offset emissions from future operations.  

  • Existing commercial buildings larger than 20,000 square feet would be required to participate in a reporting program to assess water use, indoor environmental quality and building characteristics. Owners also would need to identify whether the building qualifies for Portland’s Clean River Rewards incentive for stormwater management.
  • For new residential projects, a performance target would be set for a percentage of homes to be built to green building standards.  If the target is met, no new regulations would be enacted. If the target is not met, an incentive program similar to that for new commercial buildings would be established.  
  • Existing residential buildings would have no new requirements. City staff are currently developing options to make it easier to finance home upgrades.

 More information about the proposed policy, including a link to the online comment form, can be found at www.portlandonline.com/osd/gbpolicy.  Comments received by January 20, 2009 will be provided to City Council before consideration in early 2009.

 In addition to providing your comments, please share this information with your colleagues and neighbors and invite them to comment on the policy at the Web site listed above.

 Questions about the policy can be e-mailed to gbpolicy@ci.portland.or.us or call 503-823-3246

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