News Analysis

New Orleans Sees Green Rebuilding Efforts

Recent ordinances under consideration in New Orleans demonstrate that in the effort to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, green building advocates are playing a role. In August 2006, the City Council approved a resolution spelling out a “Green Building Program” that would require City-funded buildings to achieve Gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System and offer incentives for private-sector commercial and residential developments that meet LEED and Energy Star™ standards. According to Beth Galante, director of the New Orleans office of the nonprofit Global Green USA, each portion of the Green Building Program must now come before the City Council as an ordinance. The first portion of the program, legislation establishing a procedure for net metering, is currently undergoing public review and should return to the Council for final approval by the spring of 2007.

Another ordinance currently under review is the voluntary “Standard of Sustainability,” which lays out broad criteria for residential development in the city. According to Christophor Faust of the ReGen Group, which crafted the standard, it has been approved by the City Council, which is putting together a roundtable of experts to craft the final language of the ordinance. Prisca Weems, principal of FutureProof, LLC, who is involved in the Council’s efforts, enlarged the scope of this work, telling

Published February 1, 2007