Green Building Coalition appeals for City of Tampa to get behind Green initiative by Mitch E. Perry

06/08/06

Today at the Tampa City Council, representatives from a group trying to get the City to begin adopting more green building guidelines presented their proposals.

Green Building ordinances have spread throughout the country, and the state, in recent years. Locally, Sarasota has become a leader in creating policies to promote environmentally friendly buildings. Now the Green Building Coalition is trying to make Tampa a Green City.

Environmental activist Liz Taylor came before the Council to present a 5 point plan.

The first goal is to allocate funding for training City Staff – Taylor says the training is critical to removing permits and approving barriers and disincentives that may currently exist for builders to use new technologies that save energy and water.

Among them is simply having the City build it’s first certified “Green Building� (roll tape#1 o.q.� are doing this “)

The LEED standard that Taylor refers to is the acronym standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which provides the national standard for designing, constructing and certifying the world’s greenest buildings. Taylor says that the City needs to create incentives for developers to build Green(roll tape#2 o.q.� bonuses�) Taylor says it would also be beneficial to analyze regular City activities for other sustainability initiatives, and to obtain funding for those initiatives. They suggest a Sustainable Tampa Program Coordinator, as has been used with other local governments.

Councilman John Dingfelder suggested that a new building that will become the headquarters for the Tampa Police Department in East Tampa might be a possible Green Building candidate, and if not, some other buildings on the drawing board (roll tape#3 o.q.�to look into�)

Kimberly Finn is with the group BEST, Built Environment for Sustainable Tampa . Last year BEST began holding forums in Tampa to educate residents on Green Cities initiatives, which strives to find way to conserve energy and use natural resources whenever possible. She said with the explosive growth in the County it’s critical for the City to provide funding for some of the proposals asked by the Green Building Coalition (roll tape#4 O.q.�in infrastructure�)

Pete Crawford is with the American Institute for Architects U.S. Green Building Coalition. He says creating green buildings can add value and reduce costs to the city (roll tape#5 o.q.�forward these ideas�)

Councilwoman Linda Saul Sena said she is looking for a report from Business & Housing Development Director Cindy Miller on possibly incorporating some of the Green Building Coaltion in the next few months.

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