Back in October of 2008, in the midst of the economic turmoil, Green Building Law Update wrote that governments should reconsider requiring green building certification for projects. With the deepening economic recession, some governments are now supporting green building projects while specifically not requiring certification.
A recent New York Times article highlighted green building developments in Westchester County. Interestingly, one city is not requiring LEED certification due to the additional costs while another is pushing forward a code requiring LEED certification:
Building green in the county does not always mean building to LEED certification standards. Some local governments, like New Rochelle’s and the county Department of Public Works, have committed to green building in principle but are not going for LEED sign-off because of extra costs of hiring consultants and paying certification fees.
“We are requiring all of our staff and consultants to provide us with a listing of options for the different levels of certification, and then we are analyzing the costs,” said Ralph L. Butler, commissioner of public works for the county . . . .
Reese Berman, the supervisor of the Town of North Castle . . . is working on green guidance for local governments.
“It’s hard when development is slow for towns to make this kind of legislation,” said Ms. Berman, whose town has had to shelve plans for a new highway garage with solar panels. “Unless there are really big incentives from the state or federal government, we are not going to see the kind of green initiatives we were hoping to see.”
The article also highlights Yonkers, New York, which has "drafted the most aggressive green building standards in Westchester." In the coming months, the Yonkers City Council is expected to pass a green building code that will require most new construction comply with LEED standards.
On January 30 and 31, I will be sitting on a green building law panel to discuss government green building regulations. Which city do you think is crafting more appropriate green building regulation: New Rochelle, which is pushing green building projects without the certification or Yonkers, which is pushing a green building code requiring certification?