Home
Primers
 
Back
 
Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Signs Groundbreaking


Green Building Law on Earth Day
Global Green USA
April 22, 2008


City Council passes comprehensive and far reaching plan - a first for a major
American City that would reduce LA's carbon emissions by more than 80,000 tons
by 2012


Taking bold action to combat climate change
in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today joined City Council President
Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Jan Perry, Ed Reyes and Bill Rosendahl to sign
the Private Sector Green Building Plan into law setting LA on course to cut
carbon emissions by more than 80,000 tons by 2012.

Developed by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with City Council, the ordinance
will create a series of requirements and incentives for developers to meet the
US Green Building Council’s Energy and Design (LEED) standards – the country's
strictest environmental building standards.

“Our City is growing fast and growing up, and we’re holding the private sector
accountable to their commitment to be friends to our environment,” Mayor
Villaraigosa said. “Already the City of Los Angeles has the largest, most
aggressive municipal green building plan of any large city in America. Now it’s
time for green building to go private.”

During a visit to LA's greenest residential building, the Mayor signed into law
the most far reaching plan of any big city in America to promote green building
practices in the private sector. The ordinance would reduce the City's carbon
emissions by more than 80,000 tons by 2012, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars
off the road – surpassing any other major city in the country.

Under the ordinance, the City will require all projects at or above 50,000
square feet – or 50 units – to comply with the general LEED-certified standard.
In exchange, the City will work with builders to speed up approvals and to
remove obstacles in the municipal code for elements of sustainable building
design, such as green rooftops, cisterns and permeable pavement.

If a builder commits to pursuing LEED silver accreditation, the City will add
expedited processing through the Planning and Public Works Departments. “This
legislation puts Los Angeles squarely at the forefront of building green,”
Council President Garcetti said. “With it we will clean our air, clean our
water, preserve our land, and lead the fight against global warming.”

In addition to direct incentives, the Mayor’s initiative will require the City
to train case managers as LEED accredited professionals and will create one-stop
checklists of all available City incentives to guide developers through the
green building process.

A new cross-departmental Sustainability Team will also be created under the
program, generating an unprecedented forum between developers and City staff to
address issues arising on both a project basis and a policy level. Meeting
regularly with the public, the team will file quarterly reports to the Mayor on
the City’s progress in implementing the Private Sector Green Building Initiative.

“Today, we are taking another great step toward becoming a greener, more
sustainable City. We are already setting a high standard by creating municipal
buildings with strict green standards and now we are asking the private sector
to do the same in order to make a more significant impact on the quality of our
environment here in Los Angeles,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, chair of the
Energy and Environment Committee.

“The future of green industry is happening right here in Los Angeles with our
green building program,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who chairs the Planning
and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Los
Angeles River. “Green buildings reduce energy and water consumption, and improve
air quality. That translates into healthier communities and reduced water and
power bills for our customers.”

“Given that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings account for more than 40% of
global warming pollution, the Los Angeles Green Building ordinance is a good
first step towards building an energy-efficient, climate friendly sustainable
city, said Global Green USA President Matt Petersen. “While certainly not an end
destination, it is important that Los Angeles has become the first big city to
codify a private sector green building program.”

“Trammell Crow Company believes building green is good for business, building
green is good for developers and building green is good for the City of Los
Angeles,” said Brad Cox, Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company and Chairman
of the Los Angeles Business Council.

The US Green Building Council awards LEED silver, gold and platinum
certifications based on the level of environmental sustainability met by a
developer. The site of the news conference, the Luma residential project, is a
19-story high-rise in downtown’s South Park neighborhood and has been certified
as LEED Gold.

Luma becomes only the second condo complex in California to receive the Gold
designation, joining its sister building Elleven, which was LEED Gold certified
in October 2007. To reach Gold, Luma has achieved high levels of water and
energy efficiencies, improved indoor air quality and drought tolerant
landscaping.

The Green Building Plan is an integral part of the Mayor's Green LA Plan, which
was unveiled in May 2007. The aggressive and bold plan calls for the City to
reduce its carbon footprint by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. The goal goes
beyond the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol and is the greatest reduction
target of any large US city.

Key Points of the Private Sector Green Building Ordinance:

Require that all new projects greater than 50 units or 50,000 square feet show
compliance with the LEED Certified level. Expedite processing through all
departments, if LEED Silver designation is met.

Initiate an ongoing review of city codes to ease use of environmentally sound
and superior materials and processes.

Create a cross-departmental Sustainability Team to review and revise green
building policies and specific projects. They will meet weekly so that the
development community can enjoy ongoing interaction with City staff.
Direct City General Managers and department and agency heads (namely Planning,
Building and Safety, Public Works, Water and Power, Transportation, and CRA)
to train and certify their staff in green building methods and policies and/or
as LEED Accredited Professionals. This training should be ongoing and appear
in each departmental annual budget.

Work with the Board of DWP Commissioners to continue to add DWP financial
incentives for projects that meet green building standards.

 

Promoting Green Building Design, Construction and Operation, Sustainable Living,
Clean Technology, Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Independence