Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greening the Nation's Capitol

A MAJOR development heads your way this morning. As reported by the Washington Post, DC is "poised to become the first major city in the country to require that private developers build environmentally friendly projects that incorporate energy-saving measures." If passed in Council next week, this will be a monumental victory in cleaning up the District's air (ie lowering respiratory damage to kids in predominately minority neighborhoods), as well as promoting the numerous advantages of high-performance buildings. It seems we're finally leaving the age where brawn has ruled the day, behavior such as cranking up the heat in the middle of summer because the building doesn't have openable windows and the A/C is giving everyone frostbite.

I'd like to applaud my colleagues that have put in lots of work on this bill, and a self-pat for my small contributions (and I do mean small). I'm extremely fortunate to be a part of this ongoing "project," and know that we're in good hands with the professionals that have contributed fulltime. Just goes to show what can happen when citizens, private enterprise, and municipalities work together to benefit the common good.

Full passage means a better quality of life for everyone, regardless of income. What I like most about green buildings is they approach building construction from a systems standpoint, thus providing more comfortable buildings at little incremental cost. Workers and residents tend to be happier, you know with their big new windows, and the air inside is much cleaner. Not to mention the fossil-fuel fired electricity plants at Benning Road and Buzzard Point won't spew as much mercury and carbon dioxide all over nearby residents' clotheslines.

So yes, I'm extremely happy about this development. Read the full article here. [Image above showing Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis or "Black Lung." Coal, mmmm.]


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