On January 29th the Bureau of Development Services and the Office of Sustainable Development co-hosted a public meeting to discuss the paths the City of Portland is pursuing to expand green building community-wide. Approximately 130 people, representing every sector of the development community, attended the event.
Commissioners Leonard and Saltzman began the meeting by talking about why they believe that expanding green building in the City is important for both the economy and the environment. Bureau Directors Paul Scarlett (BDS) and Susan Anderson (OSD) described what each bureau has already done to promote sustainable building practices in the city.
In March 2007, City Council directed OSD to develop options for improving building performance across the city, and in November 2007, Council adopted a goal of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary cause of global warming, by 80% by 2050. The Bureau Directors described how BDS and OSD will be working together to ensure that Council's goals will be met.
Lori Graham with BDS described the possibility of creating a Local Amendment to the State Building Code, which would be focused on making green building elements a requirement for permit approval. This spring a Technical Advisory Group will be formed, representing a wide variety of interests, to determine what elements should be included in the amendment. The recommendations of the group would then be forwarded on to the City Council and the State's Building Codes Division for adoption. Lori encouraged anyone who would be interested in being involved in the Technical Advisory Group to contact her (503-823-3448).
Peter Hurley with OSD gave a presentation on the High Performance Green Building Policy (HPGBP) that the City has been working on developing. More information about the policy can be found on OSD's website. Peter described the next phase of public involvement that will include assembling a committee of stakeholders representing the building industry to help answer questions that will be used to form the policy. In addition, OSD will be posting policy questions on their web site to allow the entire city to help answer them.
The community members that attended the meeting asked many though provoking questions about both of the proposed paths, and were quite interested in continuing the conversation with the City in the upcoming months.
Bureau of Development Services