Ozark Outdoors

Green Building Task Force recommends energy conservation improvements

Posted By  | On 0 Comments

The Springfield/Greene County Green Building Task Force presented its recommendations to City Council and the Greene County Commission today.

Green logoThe recommendations are intended to encourage and incentivize voluntary green building practices. The report urges careful consideration be given before requiring code/ordinance changes that would mandate green building practices.

“Significant progress has been made since the deliberations of the task force and that, in general, on a national level, green building practices are being tried and proven and their overall use is increasing as a result,” says Barbara Lucks, the City’s Sustainability Officer. “Local builders and developers of successful green projects have contributed to this acceptance locally.”

Raising awareness about the benefits of structures constructed using green building practices is needed, in addition to educating appraisers, lenders and other industry members regarding increased property values is warranted. The task force notes a need for sensitivity to adding costs to structures, particularly residential projects, by utilizing green building practices.

The task force requested permission to take the necessary steps to enable Springfield and Greene County to participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, through which businesses and similar institutions may receive funding for capital projects that produce measurable energy conserving results, repaying the funding over a specified time period from the money saved by the installation.

The PACE recommendation appears in several places in the report and is supported by several organizations in addition to the Green Building Task Force.

An infra-red camera spots the areas (in red) where heat is being lost. A task force has recommended "green" incentives in construction, but not mandates.

An infra-red camera spots the areas (in red) where heat is being lost. A task force has recommended “green” incentives in construction, but not mandates.

The Springfield-Greene/County Green Building Task Force worked for a year evaluating the latest “green” building policies, procedures, and ordinances, and to recommend their application to regional development.“

Task force members represented building and development industry organizations, environmental and green building organizations and were supported by technical staff from the City, County and City Utilities of Springfield.

The report contains general recommendations and groups the recommendations into the following categories: Structure, Policy/Process, Site/Stormwater, and Residential.

The Task Force recommends striking a balance that moves green building efforts ahead without creating negative impacts to the building industry in the process.

“The key is to support the “triple bottom line” (social, environmental and economic), which follows the same goals outlined in Field Guide 2030,” Lucks says.

For more information, contact Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks at 417-864-2005 or blucks@springfieldmo.gov.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login