Green Dallas – The "Emerald" City

If you care about the environment and love the idea of sustainable green building, Dallas, Texas is one of the greenest places to be.

On April 9, 2008, Dallas adopted the green building ordinance aimed at reducing energy and water consumption for all new construction, both residential and commercial.  The ordinance called for two phases in each sector:

Phase 1 (begins 2009)

•    Energy efficiency must be 15% higher
•    Meet four out of six water conservation techniques

Phase 2 (begins 2011)
•    Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standard or Green Built North Texas (GBNT)
•    20% reduction of water usage
•    Minimum 17.5% higher energy efficiency

Phase 1 (begins 2009)

•    Must meet 85% of points for certified level LEED® rating system

o    One point for 20% reduction of water usage
o    Two point minimum for 14% higher energy efficiency
Phase 2 (begins 2011)
•    Must be LEED® certifiable
o    One point for 20% reduction of water usage
o    Three point minimum for 17.5% higher energy efficiency

Although the vote to pass the ordinance was unanimous, the council members realized that a big part of going green is education.  To that end, Dallas began an extensive campaign to inform the public.

Articles with tips on water and energy conservation boomed almost overnight, followed by question and answer forums.  Dallas’ Mayor and City Council created the Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Award to recognize the leaders of environmental changes, and Dallas schools began offering scholarships for those interested in degrees associated with green building.

As dedicated to the cause as Dallas is, they’re not the only city interested in green standards.  Just thirteen days later, Los Angeles, California also passed an ordinance requiring the adoption of green building rules.  August 18, Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development kicked off the Green Affordable Housing Program.  And the list goes on.

While Dallas, Texas may not be the leader of the pack, their complete dedication to green building and environmental issues is what gave them the name of “Green Dallas“.

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