L.A. to Have Mandatory Green Building Measures

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorLos Angeles–On the occasion of Earth Day, the Los Angeles City Council voted today on the city’s Green Building Program. The green-building ordinance will provide a platform for more integrated sustainable design and environment throughout the city of Los Angeles. The initiative is based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) compliance and will require new developments over 50,000 sq. ft to be 15 percent more energy efficient over current California code standards. “The buildings will not get permits until they comply with these standards,” Renata Simril, senior vice president of Forest City Residential West, which is working with the city to develop the Green Building Program, tells MHN.“Some economists say that buildings contribute to 40 percent of the total carbon emissions. The purpose of the program is to reduce this carbon footprint,” says Simril.The program has broad-based support, was unanimously approved by the council’s joint committee and today gained approval from the LA City Council.Los Angeles is the largest city in the U.S. to adopt a mandatory sustainability program of this magnitude.This is the way business will be done in the future, says Simril. Even though there is a perception that green building requires larger budgets for construction, Simril clarifies that the cost of building green goes up only if the builder starts thinking about sustainability late in the construction process.“We want to make sure that green meets the road and get on with the business of reducing our carbon footprint,” says Simril.