Madison, WI Requiring New City Buildings to Be Certified as Green Buildings

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Madison, WI, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 1/22/08

Vote: Unanimous

Source File:


Legislative File Number 07453 (version 2)

SUBSTITUTE - Requiring Green Building Certification for new City buildings.

WHEREAS, the City of Madison's implementation plan to become a Green Capital City, as detailed in the report Building a Green Capital City: A Blueprint to Madison's Sustainable Design and Energy Future, places a high priority on implementing green building practices in the city; and

WHEREAS, the City of Madison has entered into the Mayor's Global Climate Change Protection Agreement and the Madison Clean Energy Challenge to significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, improving building resource efficiency and energy performance will reduce building energy waste and related greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, the green building design, construction and operation can have a significant positive effect on energy and resource efficiency, waste and pollution generation, and the health and productivity of a building's occupants over the life of the building; and

WHEREAS, green design and construction decisions made by the City in the construction and remodeling of City buildings can result in significant cost savings to the City over the life of the buildings and can defer obsolescence of those buildings; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, green building design, construction and operational techniques have become increasingly widespread. Many homeowners, businesses, and building professionals have voluntarily sought to incorporate green building techniques into their projects. A number of local and national systems have been developed to serve as guides to green building practices. At the national level, the U.S. Green Building Council, developer of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED©) Green Building Rating System and LEED© Reference Guide, has become a leader in promoting and developing green building; and

WHEREAS, the City of Madison desires to provide leadership in green building to both public and private sectors;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this resolution applies to:

a) Any enclosed building constructed for and/or primarily funded by the City; or
b) Any building constructed on City land; or
c) Any major renovation or change in use of 5,000 gross square feet or more of a City-owned building that requires, building, plumbing, electrical and/or heating permits; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all covered projects that begin the design phase after July 1, 2008, shall be designed, contracted and built to achieve a minimum LEED© Silver certification and shall strive for the highest level of certification that project resources and conditions permit; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these projects shall be evaluated for on-site renewable energy systems in the design process; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Facilities and Sustainability manager shall evaluate all buildings owned by the City against the LEED© for Existing Buildings Silver criteria and prepare a report recommending:

a) The five buildings for which it would be easiest and least expensive to seek LEED© for Existing Buildings Silver certification; and
b) The five buildings which:
a. Use the most energy.
b. Use the most water and produce the most wastewater.

This report shall be submitted to the Sustainable Design and Energy Committee and to the Common Council no later than October 1, 2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that City owned and/or funded projects listed asdeemed historic under federal, state or local law are exempt from, but encouraged to comply with, the requirements of this article whenever feasible; and.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if, due to specific economic circumstances or to the phasing of projects, compliance with this resolution would create an unreasonable burden on the construction project or City department, a request for exemption shall be submitted in writing to the Facilities and Sustainability manager, who shall, after reviewing the submittal with the Sustainable Design and Energy Committee, grant, conditionally grant or deny the request for exemption; but that in applying for an exemption, the burden is on the applicant to show hardship or infeasibility, and all economic hardship documentation must be performed on a life-cycle cost basis, and in the event a waiver of this resolution is granted, the project will continue to pursue the maximum feasible number of LEED© credits reasonably achievable for the project. If it is the Facilities and Sustainability manager who is requesting the exemption, the Board of Public Works shall grant, conditionally grant or deny the request for exemption.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all non-covered projects, in the public and private sector, are encouraged to use their best efforts to incorporate as many green building measures as feasible from the LEED© rating system and to pursue LEED© certification.

Fiscal Note
This policy resolution does not require an appropriation at this time. The report to be completed by the Facilities and Sustainablity Manager will use existing staff and resources. Any fiscal impact on design, construction and operating costs will need to be considered in future year Operating and Capital Budgets.