Another day and another U.S. city is on the cusp of implementing green building legislation. All projects, public or private, of 50,000 square feet or more in Boston will be required to meet a city-developed green building standard. The new regulations will take effect in January after the public has an opportunity to comment and the Boston Zoning Commission adopts them into the municipal zoning code.
Unlike D.C., Boston is choosing not to use LEED. James W. Hunt III, chief of environmental and energy services for the city, says that “[t]he LEED process can be lengthy, onerous in documentation, and costly. . . . Also, we don’t want to rely on a third party to do the certification process.” Boston’s certification program will not be as strict as LEED, but it will essentially require the same environmental standards. The program will include 70 areas of construction and design requirements (from energy efficiency to waste management), but only mandate that buildings satisfy 26 of them.
This is terrific news for green building. In the final quarter of 2006, we’ve now seen two U.S. cities take major steps towards requiring green building standards for private projects. One city will use LEED (D.C.), the other won’t. It will be interesting to see how other municipalities react as, undoubtedly, more green building legislation governing private projects is proposed in 2007.