Friday, December 14, 2007

The Wisdom of Crowds

The oft-spoken expression, "Two heads are better than one," though not in the least novel to any of us, may be taking on a whole new level of meaning when applied to the growing number of cities nationwide that have been adopting green building rules and ordinances. The movement for all new commercial, residential, and civic developments to incorporate green building measures into their design, construction, and maintenance comes at the realization that local governments can have a positive stake in curbing the negative effects of global warming. Buildings, which until recently have been left largely unregulated, have been shown to contribute significantly to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (the other two big ones being tailpipe emissions and power plants, and controlled by the federal and state governments, respectively). Nationwide, construction is the biggest manufacturing industry, with no surprise that buildings account for 39% of U.S. energy use, 70% of electricity consumption and 12% of potable water use. It now becomes obvious why so many cities are raising their building standards - thinking more so on how future generations will be able to benefit through more strict design and building standards being set presently, rather than on any the short-term impacts.

Brisbane is no different. Though small in size, the city is one that has long been known to be environmentally-progressive. And it expects to continue being just that. This coming Monday, 12/17, the City Council will be voting on adopting its own Green Building Ordinance, which will impose mandatory green building standards for certain real estate development projects. We encourage the community to come and be a part of yet another way the city is pursuing opportunities to protect natural resources and to preserve the unique and current character of Brisbane.

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