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Baltimore City Releases Green Building Standards as Less Expensive Option to LEED Standards

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City has released the city's Green Building standards. Developed in partnership with the Planning Department, the Baltimore City Green Building Standards are meant to be a quicker, less expensive alternative to the traditional LEED certification currently required under the Baltimore City Code, the agency says.

The standards will apply to newly-constructed or extensively-modified nonresidential or multi-family residential buildings that have or will have at least 10,000 square feet of gross floor area.
The new standards are innovative and designed to achieve certification for green buildings with guidelines that work with Baltimore's unique building and land use issues. As awareness of environmental and energy issues has increased, demand for green buildings has also grown. The BCGBS incorporates elements of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and will serve as an "incentive" for green development without additional cost to developers. They are also designed to best achieve the goals of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan.

"The development of the Green Building Standards is another opportunity to show the City's commitment to being environmentally responsible," says Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

"Baltimore City's Green Building Standards give developers an incentive to go green," says Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano. "We understand the challenges facing developers and have created a plan that addresses their needs and our commitment. The new standards are sensible, effective, enforceable, and will be seamless and transparent."

Compliance with these standards will, among other things: protect and restore the City's water supply, reduce Baltimore's urban heat island effect, encourage alternative transportation, and promote and improve access to more green spaces throughout the City.

"Certification for green building projects in Baltimore will take less time, because they will be reviewed as part of the City's existing development review processes," says Tom Stosur, Director of the Baltimore City Planning Department. "Baltimore City is committed to being eco friendly and this is just another step towards that end."

Source: Housing Authority of Baltimore City
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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