City-Wide Green Building Goals Set in Boston

Boston has some of the oldest buildings in the nation. While they’re architecturally beautiful, they probably wouldn’t pass muster for good energy and environmental design.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed a Green Building Task Force in 2003, and the group has come back with recommendations on how to bring the city’s municipal buildings and all large construction projects up to speed with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating established by the U.S. Green Building Council. “Green building is good for your wallet. It’s good for the environment. And it’s good for people,” Mayor Menino said. “I asked this Task Force to make recommendations to help Boston become a national leader in green building – and that is what we’re going to do.” LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. The standard provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The Green Building Task Force is comprised of experts in every area of building design, construction, management, and financing, as well as public health and environmental experts. Green buildings can decrease negative effects on the environment, generate substantial cost savings for building owners and tenants, reduce dependency on imported energy, and enhance worker health and productivity. By promoting new green buildings and development, as well as “greening” Boston’s existing buildings, the city seeks to stimulate new business growth and job creation for Boston. It wouldn’t be a Boston effort if the Red Sox didn’t get involved some how. Inspired by the Mayor’s plan, the Sox have committed to exploring green building opportunities for upcoming construction projects at Fenway Park. Keyspan Energy, a utility company for the New England area, announced that the company’s intent to dedicate $250,000 to green building efforts through an Emerald Network team. The money will include funding for employee training in green building practices and technologies, as well as grants for projects that incorporate significant energy-saving features. “Just as the Emerald Necklace adorns the city with green spaces, KeySpan’s Emerald Network will help enable public buildings and development to become more green,” said KeySpan Chairman and CEO Robert B. Catell. “This initiative will support the Mayor’s standard by helping developers and building owners make their facilities more green. It makes good health sense and it makes good economic sense.”

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