City of Lakewood
adopts green building policy

On April 7th, 2003, Lakewood City Council unanimously adopted a green building policy. Councilman Denis Dunn, the leader of the effort, discussed the benefits of the policy for the health of the community and the environment, as well as the potential financial benefits for the municipality. The full policy as adopted is included below:

A RESOLUTION to adopt a City of Lakewood Green Building Policy, to promote sustainable development strategies consistent with the enormous opportunities to effect change in the way buildings are designed, built, and maintained to ensure that Lakewood is an environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy place to live and work.

WHEREAS, development and construction practices are main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, toxic wastes, health hazards, global warming, and other negative consequences; and

WHEREAS, buildings currently use one-quarter of the entire worlds wood harvest and consume two-fifths of all material and energy flows. Fifty-four percent of U.S. energy consumption is directly or indirectly related to buildings and their construction. Building construction and operations account for 35 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions; and

WHEREAS, Green building practices provide the framework and tools to build in an efficient, healthy, and ecologically responsible manner while serving the publics interest, as these techniques:

  • Conserve energy, water, and other natural resources.
  • Strengthen established goals related to increased density, mixed use, and transit-oriented development, storm water and erosion control, brown field redevelopment, and increased bicycle and pedestrian access.
  • Save the city, building owners, and tenants money through increased operation and maintenance efficiencies.
  • Improve indoor air quality and the health, well being, and productivity of occupants.
  • Help reduce public infrastructure costs related to development.
  • Minimize local ecological degradation (habitat, air, soil, and water) through efficient site and building design, sustainable construction practices, and low impact building materials and operational practices.
  • Keeps money in the local economy and creates new local industries and jobs; and

WHEREAS, Lakewood encourages investment and the redevelopment and renovation of many buildings within the community, the need to create additional strategies to protect air and water quality, minimize the depletion of natural resource, and abate inefficient land use practices exists. The built environment represents a major opportunity for the City, along with local designers, engineers, developers, builders, lenders, appraisers, and other sectors of the building trades, to address local and global environmental degradation. Promoting energy and resource efficient building practices is one such strategy; now, therefore:


Section 1.

That this Council, for itself and on behalf of all the citizens of this community, adopts a City of Lakewood Green Building Policy, to promote sustainable development strategies consistent with the enormous opportunities to effect change in the way buildings are designed, built, and maintained to ensure that Lakewood is an environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy place to live and work, which reads:

City of Lakewood Green Building Policy

I. Policy Statement

The City of Lakewood shall incorporate green building principles and practices into the design, construction, and operation of all City facilities, City-funded projects, and infrastructure projects to the fullest extent practicable.

Furthermore, the City will provide leadership and guidance to encourage the application of green building practices in private sector development. This policy is expected to yield long-term cost savings to the Citys taxpayers due to substantial improvements in life-cycle performance and reduced life-cycle cost

In addition, the City shall evaluate all land purchases for future development on the basis of reducing environmental impacts that include, but are not limited to, transit and bicycle accessibility, urban and brown field redevelopment, solar access, on-site storm water mitigation capacity, and vegetation and habitat restoration.

Integrated Design and Life-Cycle Analysis

Successful green buildings depend on applying whole-systems strategies to rigorous life-cycle analysis. Effective integrated design strategies consider and solve a variety of relevant issues simultaneously. Life-cycle analysis helps assess the net present value of the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and disassembly of a facility as well as the health and productivity of its occupants. When integrated design and life cycle analysis are combined, better and more affordable building strategies emerge.

Currently, design and construction budgets for City-owned facilities are established using square-foot formulas based on industry standards (facility type, land value, and other factors affecting cost prior to design). In addition, construction and operations budgeting occurs separatelymaking it difficult to invest in green building practices that may have higher up front costs. In order to develop green building strategies that have the most beneficial economic and environmental benefits, the City should apply 20- to 30-year life-cycle costing that integrates construction and operations and maintenance budgets into all building-related capital improvements.

LEED Rating System

The City of Lakewood Green Building Policy should be tied, in part, to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC was formed in 1993 to accelerate the adoption of green building practices, technologies, policies, and standards. The USGBC developed LEED to help stimulate green building market transformation. USGBC membership consists of more than 2000 organizations including product manufacturers, environmental non profit organizations, building and design professionals, building owners, and local and state governments.

LEED is a third-party certification system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. The use of LEED helps to establish minimum performance levels, creates a common design and construction practice framework, and allows Lakewood to measure its sustainable building performance relative to other jurisdictions using LEED. In addition, USGBC provides technical rulings, training, networking and marketing to members.

II. Policy Objectives

The City of Lakewood shall attempt to integrate the LEED certification level of green building practices into all facilities projects constructed, owned, managed or financed by the City including new construction, operation and maintenance strategies, and major retrofits.

The City of Lakewood shall encourage green building practices for current and future civic buildings and program areas, to include libraries, recreational facilities, senior and affordable housing, and schools.

The construction, operation, and maintenance of public infrastructure that serves building development shall be periodically reviewed in order to further integrate sustainable practices.

The City shall promote the voluntary application of the Green Building Guidelines in private sector building design, construction, and operations.

III. Implementation

The City of Lakewood Green Building Policy shall be forwarded to the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of Building Standards and Buildings Appeals, the Division of Community Development and the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board for review consistent with the above referenced policy objectives.

The Housing Committee and the Administration shall issue a semi-annual progress report to City Council on efforts to promote sustainable development and green building practices.

Section 2.

That the Clerk of Council be and is hereby authorized and directed to forward a certified copy of this resolution to the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of Building Standards and Buildings Appeals, the Division of Community Development, the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board, the Housing Committee of Lakewood City Council, and the Administration for implementation, and that a copy of this resolution be spread upon the minutes of this meeting.

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



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