Nation-wide Green Building Programs

The AIA has been publishing some interesting analysis of U.S. green building programs, which I wanted to share with all you enthusiasts.  In their report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, the AIA looked at 661 communities, or cities with a population greater than 50,000 people, and conducted research of each communities’ green building programs.  The AIA spoke with planners and other officials from 606 cities, getting a 92% response rate.  They found that 92 of the 606 responding cities had green building programs — or to put that in perspective, over 42 million people live in cities with green building programs.  The report also elaborated on program trends and includes case studies of programs in Portland, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Chicago, Austin, and Atlanta. 

One thing is for sure: green building programs are proliferating.  They’re multiplying like rabbits.  Because new communities will certainly begin to consider and eventually adopt green building programs, the report contains a few recommendations:

  • Be inclusive of architects, builders, and others. 
  • Involve architects as a resource.
  • If the funds are available, hire a director of sustainability.
  • Train and accredit municipal employees in the programs your city will use. 
  • Keep it simple and consistent.
  • Implement additional sustainability initiatives that complement green building programs. 

And for all you practitioners out there, the report contains a green building programs matrix at the end with information on the programs available in each city.  In addition, I’ve included a link to an additional report in this series that focuses on the most effective green incentives. 

[+] Local Leaders in Sustainability [pdf – AIA]
[+] Local Leaders in Sustainability – Green Incentives [pdf – AIA]