Taking the LEED on Green Building
Last May, a tornado displaced 1,400 people in the rural town of Greensburg, Kansas, and left nearly every house, tree and business razed. In the weeks...
Last May, a tornado displaced 1,400 people in the rural town of Greensburg, Kansas, and left nearly every house, tree and business razed. In the weeks following the disaster, Greensburg embraced a recovery plan aimed at turning the town into the greenest in America, and in December became the first U.S. city to require all city-owned buildings larger than 4,000 square feet to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's highest rating, LEED (for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design") Platinum. The initiative not only calls for new city buildings to reduce energy use by 42 percent over current building code requirements but also calls on the city to investigate options for generating its own energy and has already led to the construction of 100 new homes that are more energy efficient than the ones they replaced. The initiative is showing signs of significant economic benefits for the city, which was in steep decline before the tornado: The Discovery Channel is chronicling the town as it rebuilds, an energy company has announced plans to build a biodiesel plant in Greensburg, and Google is considering building a wind-powered data center there. To follow the rebuilding process, visit www.bnim.com/greensburg.
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