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Stop Killing Polar Bears. Build Green Please!

Did anyone watch that story on 60 Minutes last night on Polar Bears and global warming? Followed by the story on giant homes ruining America. It was enough to send us to bed in tears. We exaggerate of course, because we're emotional robots without the power to love or feel sadness. But we only mention this because we read a story this AM in the Architectural Record on incentivizing green buildings. Government entities across America, from globally warmed sea to shining sea, are beginning to offer tax breaks and other incentives to encourage enviro-friendly development. The article contends that from the Federal Government on down, the push to build green is real.

Chicago and Seattle are also providing noteworthy tax incentives. Chicago is giving $5,000 grants to small businesses that build green roofs, and Seattle is giving $15,000 in incentive funding to businesses that build buildings which become LEED-certified. In general, says Paul Mendelsohn, AIA’s senior director for state and local affairs, cities have made greater strides in promoting green building because their smaller constituencies are less divided on the issue. In our own little smogville, the City Council is set to act tomorrow on a motion to approve a two-year pilot program that will give Priority Plan Check Procedures for Green Building designs that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Silver” rating or higher in the City. That's a start.
· Green Building Movement Yielding Tax Incentives; Other Public Policy Changes in Works [Architectural Record]