Green Building Ordinance Released by Center
for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School
October 15, 2010
The Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School has released
a model green building ordinance for use by municipalities looking
to promote the construction and design of new buildings that make
efficient use energy, water and materials. The model ordinance is
designed to be readily adopted by local jurisdictions.
"With 40 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. used by buildings,
it is clear that a large part of the effort to mitigate the impact
of climate change will have to come from efficiency gains in the
built environment, particularly through the use of green construction,
design and operating practices," say Michael Gerrard, director of
the Center for Climate Change Law, and Andrew Sabin, professor of
According to the announcement, current municipal green building
ordinances vary widely in content, coverage and quality of drafting,
and many small localities cannot devote sufficient resources to
form a fully developed green building ordinance. To this end, the
model ordinance compiles the aspects of green building ordinances
nationwide, and is structured to avoid the legal pitfalls encountered
by some municipal ordinances. While designed for New York State
municipalities, with minor revisions the ordinance can be readily
adopted in other states, if not around the world, says Gerrard.
The model ordinance is available for download at the Center for
Climate Change Law's website.
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