RecycleWorks Press Releases

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December 11, 2001

Office of Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson
Contact: Adam J. Keigwin, Legislative Aide
(650) 599-1009


Supervisor Jacobs Gibson Introduces County's Green Building Policy

Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson along with Supervisor Jerry Hill announced today the adoption of the San Mateo County Sustainable Building Policy (Green Building Policy) by the Board of Supervisors. Green building integrates building materials and methods that promote environmental quality, economic vitality, and social benefit through the design, construction and operation of the built environment.

"One of our main goals is protecting, conserving, and enhancing the region's environmental resources, while also establishing a community standard of sustainable building in the San Mateo County," said Supervisor Jacobs Gibson. "I am especially pleased that this policy will likely yield cost savings to County taxpayers through reduced operating costs and will also provide for a healthier work environment for County employees and visitors."

The concept of green building merges sound, environmentally responsible practices into one discipline that looks at the environmental, economic and social effects of a building or built project as whole. Sustainable building reduces the impact on natural resources, conserves energy and water, offers better indoor environments, improves air quality, and decreases waste disposal. This model is based on the national green building rating standard, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which was developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

According to the USGBC, buildings account for 1/6 of the world's fresh water withdrawals, 1/4 of its wood harvest, and 2/5 of all raw stone, gravel and sand. Construction also produces 25% of the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and generates a minimum of 2 to 2.5 pounds of waste per square foot.

"Building 'green' is an opportunity to use our resources more efficiently while creating healthier buildings that improve human health, build a better environment, and are less expensive to maintain," said Jill Boone, County Green Building Coordinator. "In addition, a building that is built green is fun and healthy to be in because it most likely has natural lighting, windows that open, views to the outside, air temperature controls, and more variety."

The Green Building policy will apply to new construction and additions to existing County buildings and facilities over 5,000 square feet. Such projects may include a new juvenile campus, any future office buildings, smaller public works buildings, or new park facilities.

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