13 April 2009

Qualls in DC for LEED ND

Many laypersons have probably heard the term "LEED", but they may not quite understand it. Well, it is a system of certifying buildings as being "green". There are several LEED standards covering things like: New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors and Homes. But the newest standard is the most ambitious. LEED-ND attempts to certify entire neighborhoods.

Last year, I wrote that Qualls was active in the Congress for New Urbanism, and that she was pushing for the CNU to include green objectives in their Charter. Now I see that she is in Washington DC today to help with the new LEED-ND effort:

Qualls to Help Implement New Worldwide Green Neighborhood Standard

...Qualls is part of a group of experts meeting Monday in Washington, D.C. to advise the U.S. Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the National Resources Defense Council on their efforts to educate elected officials, construction managers, city administrators, real estate developers, architects, urban designers and others about the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating standard.

... Qualls said that while more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by buildings, mainly from heating and cooling, another third comes from transportation, and transportation emissions are growing much faster. “This new standard will help promote the kind of transit- and bicycle-friendly, walkable neighborhoods that will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give our urban neighborhoods a competitive advantage,” ...

...The new program rates neighborhoods according to four categories: smart location and linkage; neighborhood pattern and design; green infrastructure and buildings; and innovation and design projects. The criteria include density, conservation of wetlands and agricultural lands, reducing automobile dependence, proximity to housing and jobs, walkability, energy efficiency, and other measures...


DP said...

I looked at the LEED-ND standards a few weeks ago out of curiosity (and trying to figure out if my existing neighborhood would be eligible for certification and any tax breaks). The impression I got, however, was that it was really only applicable to new construction neighborhoods (infill or greenfield). Do you know if that's the case? If it is, I envision it having limited applicability in the City of Cincinnati.

CityKin said...

I have not read the standard yet, but plan on doing so completely this summer. I will have more to report then. But I think you are correct, this is meant for new developments.

There is more chance for this than you may think however. For example, a developer may want to develop 100 units in a vacant two block area of Camp Washington or Avondale. Also instead of the ugly apartment complexes that seem to get built on isolated hilltops on the westside, I could see a design that is more integrated into the surrounding neighborhoods.