StopWaste.org won the Top Ten Award for green building policy
The US Green Building Council’s California Council spent yesterday in Sacramento unveiling our Top 10 List of State and Local Green Building Policies as part of the yearlong “Road to Greenbuild.” I’m a longtime green building nerd and live in one of the greenest cities in the country, and yet even I am impressed with the wide array of inspiring and visionary policies and ideas. The USGBC page also lists some of the top LEED buildings in California, including One Bush Street, aka, the Crown-Zellerbach Building, home to HOK’s San Francisco office and LEED EBOM Platinum.
- The “Most Visionary” local award goes to Los Angeles for adopting one of the first big green building ordinances, helping to kick off a city-wide green building movement.
- The “Most Collaborative” local award goes to the city of Palm Desert’s Energy Independence Program for reducing building energy use by 30 percent. Palm Desert has an extremely high level of “community involvement and pragmatic, local invention, encompassing everything form cool roofs and pavings to water-efficient golf courses with bamboo tees.”
- The “Most Creative” state award goes to Assembly Bill (AB) 811 for establishing creative financing to promote renewable energy generation – city officials and willing property owners can “enter into contractual assessments to finance the installation, generation and distribution of renewable energy sources.”
There’s a special place in my head for the “Most Market Transforming” local award, given to StopWaste.org for their green building program. I worked as a green building consultant for Kema back when I first moved to California in 2002-2003, and we were contracted to help implement StopWaste.org’s green building program. At least at that time, much of the program was funded by landfill tipping fees – the idea was that if we significantly raised the cost to dump waste into landfills then there would be more incentive to stop doing so, and during this market transition we would also raise much needed funds for green building grants. My favorite part of the story is that StopWaste.org used to be the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, and the joke was that they were not part of the Alameda County government, they weren’t involved with waste management, and they had no authority. You can imagine why they changed their name to StopWaste.org! StopWaste.org continues to put out great resources – my personal favorites are the publicly available LEED documentation for the LEED CI Platinum certification of the StopWaste.org office building and the rebates of up to $5,000 that projects can receive for specifying green materials.
Congrats to all of the California policy trailblazers, and to the advocacy programs in the eight USGBC California chapters for helping to get us here!