City of Alexandria, VA
Alexandria City Council Adopts Green Building Policy
April 20, 2009
On April 18, the Alexandria City Council adopted a green building policy, which establishes baseline green building standards for new private sector construction and provides a framework for implementation. The policy is intended to enhance the public health, safety and welfare of residents, workers and visitors by fostering practices in the design, construction, materials and maintenance of buildings that will minimize energy use, provide energy from renewable sources, divert waste, use less water, and encourage the use of recycled wastewater. It also encourages buildings to be located close to public transportation and services and to provide amenities that encourage walking and bicycling.
Alexandria’s Department of Planning and Zoning formed a Green Building Work Group made up of developers, community members, environmental representatives and City staff from several departments. In January 2009, the group presented the draft green building policy and solicited public comment. The final document requires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver or comparable green building standards for new commercial construction and LEED Certified or comparable green building standards for residential construction. These standards immediately apply to all applications not yet approved by the Planning Commission and City Council. The City has established a policy to strive for LEED Silver designation for all new City buildings.
The City of Alexandria’s green building policy is consistent with its long-term commitment to environmental sustainability. The green building policy aligns with City’s Council’s Strategic Plan for 2004 to 2015, which includes several goals for sustainable development and green buildings. The policy also supports the City’s Eco-City Alexandria Charter, which established the City’s guiding principles, vision, and overall environmental future, and meets green building goals outlined in the Eco-City Environmental Action Plan. Nationally, the City of Alexandria is among a number of jurisdictions that are adopting policies to enhance environmental sustainability. Mayor William D. Euille joined with 935 mayors who endorsed and signed the 2005 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing Alexandria to meeting or exceeding the Kyoto Protocol green house gas reduction targets through the use of local land use planning.
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