LA to become nation's largest green city

Los Angeles, February 16, 2008 - Los Angeles, known for its choking smog and fuel-burning gridlock, is poised to adopt one of the toughest green building ordinances in the nation.

Two City Council committees voted Friday to require that all major commercial and residential developments slash projected energy and water use and reduce the overall environmental footprint, placing the city on the cutting edge of an international movement to address the global warming effects of buildings.

Under the ordinance, privately built projects over 50,000 square feet -- of which there are roughly 200 constructed annually -- must meet a "standard of sustainability" by incorporating a checklist of green practices into their building plans.

The checklist includes a choice of such items as low-flow toilets, paints with low emissions, use of recycled materials, efficient irrigation, solar panels and use of natural light.

The average green building, according to studies, saves 36% in energy, 40% in water, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and solid waste by 70%.

The proposed ordinance has garnered unusually broad support, thanks to more than a year of negotiations and meetings between city officials and citizens' groups.

Read the rest of this LA Times article here.