Thursday, August 21, 2008

San Francisco Mayor Signs Nation’s Toughest Green Building Law

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed a law, which we first reported on last summer (e-Newswire, 7/25/07), that puts in place what analysts consider to be the nation’s toughest green building standards.

The law aims to improve energy efficiency in new and existing buildings to help reach the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2012. According to the city, the new law will reduce emissions by 60,000 tons and save 220,000 megawatt hours of power by 2012, while saving 100 million gallons of drinking water and removing 90 million gallons of wastewater and storm water. A 2004 city report found that buildings account for about 50% of San Francisco’s GHG emissions.

The law requires new commercial buildings and high-rise residential buildings to achieve LEED Silver or Gold certification; small- and medium-sized residential buildings must meet benchmarks established by Build It Green’s GreenPoint Rated system. The rules apply to new residential buildings and new commercial buildings 5,000 square feet or larger, and to renovations of interior commercial space of 25,000 square feet or more that significantly change the structural, electrical and mechanical systems of the building. The ordinance takes effect 90 days from Newsom’s signature.

Mayor Newsom signs San Francisco’s aggressive new green building law (Photo:

Posted by Stacey Meinzen on 08/20/08.

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