Starkville, MS Sustainability and LEEDS Policy

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Starkville, MS, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted on 5/12/08

Source File:


Note: Below is the introductory portion of this 15 page document.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Aldermen declares the intent to adopt the attached sustainable principles and directs City bureaus and agencies to integrate these principles into the City's Comprehensive Plan, and other plans that impact transportation, housing, land use, economic development, energy use, air quality, water quality and supply, solid and hazardous waste and other areas that may affect sustainable development.

City of Starkville Sustainable City Principles
Goal: City of Starkville will promote a sustainable future that meets today's needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, and accepts its responsibility to:

  • Support a stable, diverse and equitable economy
  • Protect the quality of the air, water, land and other natural resources
  • Conserve native vegetation, fish, wildlife habitat and other ecosystems
  • Minimize human impacts on local and worldwide ecosystems

City elected officials and staff will:

1. Encourage and develop connections between environmental quality and economic vitality. Promote development that reduces adverse effects on ecology and the natural resource capital base and supports employment opportunities for our citizens. Promote mixed use developments that allow proximity to work and home to create a reduction in vehicular trips and an increase in pedestrian traffic.

2. Include long‐term and cumulative impacts in decision making and work to protect the natural beauty and diversity of Starkville for future generations. Consider the design of the neighborhoods to promote inclusion instead of isolation through narrower streets with sidewalks and buildings that face the street with garages to the rear.

3. Ensure commitment to equity so environmental impacts and the costs of protecting the environment do not unfairly burden any one geographic or socioeconomic sector of the City.

4. Ensure environmental quality and understand environmental linkages when decisions are made regarding growth management, land use, transportation, energy, water, affordable housing, indoor and outdoor air quality and economic development. Promote conservation of water resources, protection of air quality and the restoration and preservation of natural ecosystems are key sustainable development approaches. Protection of wildlife and incorporation of nature into cities is also a key goal.

5. Use resources efficiently and reduce demand for natural resources, like energy, land, and water, rather than expanding supply. Promote compact development that provides savings in building and maintaining infrastructure and services. Emphasize the reuse of existing facilities encouraging revitalization of areas that have existing services.

6. Prevent additional pollution through planned, proactive measures rather than only corrective action. Enlist the community to focus on solutions rather than symptoms.

7. Act locally to reduce adverse global impacts of rapid growth of population and consumption, such as ozone depletion and global warming, and support and implement innovative programs that maintain and promote Starkville's leadership as a sustainable city.

8. Purchase products based on long term environmental and operating costs and find ways to include environmental and social costs in short term prices. Purchase products that are durable, reusable, made of recycled materials, and non‐toxic.

9. Educate citizens and businesses about Starkville's Sustainable City Principles and take advantage of community resources. Facilitate citizen participation in City policy decisions and encourage everyone to take responsibility for their actions that otherwise adversely impact the environment.

10. Include public places in the focus on sense of community and quality of life to encompass parks, streets, plazas, courtyards and green space.

11. Report annually on the progress in implementation of environmentally friendly projects and on the trend in the health and quality of Starkville's environment and economy.

12. Require LEED certification for all new construction of city facilities in excess of 3000 square feet.

13. Encourage LEED certification for all new construction of commercial and residential facilities.

14. Require all city departments to recycle within each area of city responsibility. Recycling to be enacted in accordance with the materials that are eligible for recycling within the community.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating tool developed to encourage sustainable environmental design and the incorporation of various environmental elements into the design of buildings.

LEED consists of an explicit set of environmental performance criteria organized into five performance categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

A sixth category, Innovation and Design process, rewards exceptional environmental performance or innovation over and above what is explicitly covered in the basic LEED credits via additional credit options.

Implementation of components of these performance categories award LEED points to the overall building program and toward a level of LEED certification. Projects earn one or more points (maximum of 70 possible points) toward certification by meeting or exceeding each credit’s technical requirements. Each point generally represents an integrated building design element that aims to create a building that will improve occupant well‐being, environmental performance and economic returns for the building using established innovative practices, standards and technologies. All prerequisites of each performance category must be achieved in order to qualify for certification. Points add up to a final score that relates to one of four possible levels of certification. The lowest of the four levels is “Certified” followed by “Silver”, “Gold” and finally “Platinum”.

Once a building is complete an application to the USGBC for LEED certification is made. Following an independent review and audits of selected documents a certification level is assigned. The City of Starkville encourages all buildings to achieve a LEED certification.

What is the simplified administrative procedure?
Achieving the City’s LEED policy involves five easy to follow steps:

  • Meet with City Staff prior to submitting an application to the City. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with Municipal Staff to review the LEED policy and to respond to any questions or concerns.
  • Obtain the services of a LEED certified consultant to orchestrate the design process, review the construction and certify the completion of all works on the subject land. This can greatly ease the development process and assist the proponent in complying with the City’s LEED policy.
  • Complete the Agreement of Understanding and Compliance Form (attached to the Application for Site Plan Approval) and submit a retainer letter from a LEED certified consultant identifying all services to be provided that will ensure compliance with the City’s LEED Policy.
  • Submit the appropriate documentation to the City throughout various phases of design and construction to ensure adherence to LEED standards.
  • Follow the completion of all works on site, written confirmation from the LEED certified consultant that all works have been constructed, and meet, at a minimum, LEED certification USGBC shall be submitted to the municipality.
  • Submit an application to the for LEED certification to the USGBC following the completion of all works.

What are the benefits?
Sustainable buildings significantly lower operating and maintenance costs. These financial benefits are realized during the life of the building. In an environment where energy, water and sewer rates continue to rise, the LEED initiatives will play a continuous and important role in lower operating and maintenance costs.

Studies utilizing a Life Cycle Cost analysis to determine the economic benefits of LEED buildings indicate that the cost savings associated with LEED buildings greatly outweigh capital cost increases over a 20 ‐ 50 year outlook. A 2002 economic study on implementing energy efficient measures into new construction determined that double the capital costs of the energy efficiency measures would be realized over the life cycle of the building.

Additional benefits of LEED may include:

  • Reduced energy costs
  • Reduced water usage
  • Reduction in resource consumption
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Lower operating and maintenance costs
  • Cost recovery (payback)
  • Increased productivity and improved occupational health
  • Improved corporate image
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