“[Mayor] Newsom [has] proposed a new green building ordinance that would apply to new commercial and residential development as well as renovations to existing buildings.
The green building proposal would impose stringent environmental standards on new construction and renovation to current buildings, according to Newsom. The standards would increase every year through 2012, when The City hopes to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels, according to a press release from his office.”
“If the Board of Supervisors passes the ordinance in January — as the mayor said he expects — new commercial buildings of more than 5,000 square feet, residential buildings more than 75 feet tall, and renovations on buildings more than 25,000 square feet must be certified by standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.
LEED standards go up to platinum — The City’s new Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park is LEED Platinum with its living roof — and by 2012, most large buildings in The City must meet LEED Gold or Silver standards, according to the proposed ordinance.
New commercial buildings smaller than 25,000 square feet and shorter than 75 feet, as well as small residential buildings will also have standards placed upon them.”
Newsom envisions green City by the Bay [Examiner]
Mayor Newsom Proposes Ground-Breaking Green Building Ordinance [SFGov]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by TheRealScoop

    I think some level of environmental standard is a good thing. If I had the money, I myself would try to get LEED cert. on anything I built.
    That said, I think that many green technologies are not quite “there” in terms of reasonable cost to force certain things on the developers en masse(which ultimately will be passed along to the buyers/consumers). Anyone tell me if I’m thinking about this the right way: green technologies as they continue to evolve will become LESS expensive in the future (more competition to make the technologies, more supply, cheaper production techniques, etc.). This is different from general construction materials which will likely continue to become more expensive. If we make an assumption that the real estate market remains as is for, say, 5 years, is it possible that the buildings built now will cost more than those built in the future, priced higher for the buyers now, and sort of create an inherent “negative” equity for a while in the presence of the newer, cheaper buildings? I was thinking about this if you say that two identical LEED buildings are built several years apart…theoretically, of course…

  2. Posted by Miles

    I think there are a lot of things that can be done now that don’t cost that much if they are engineered into the original construction. Additionally, a lot of the green elements costs more upfront, but saves you over the life of the item. For instance the recent article showed that the added LEED costs are not as high as were once thought and the benefits in lower energy consumption are obvious.
    http://www.pionline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071210/PRINTSUB/71203015/1013/REALESTATE
    While the proposed green certification kicks in on fairly small commercial properties, a lot of new residential construction in the city is less than 75-feet high, so this will really only apply to large projects with large budgets where the green cost can be absorbed easier.

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