Almanac

News - March 10, 2010

Portola Valley may adopt green-building mandates

Building greener homes voluntarily has proven popular in Portola Valley, planning officials say, and now the Town Council is considering requiring residents to choose from a weighted list of "build it green" elements to incorporate into additions and new construction.

Points would be awarded for each element, and homeowners would be required to meet a minimum threshold of points.

The council, appropriately, plans to discuss the topic in the very green community hall at 765 Portola Road at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, after celebrating the green-building honor awarded to the new Town Center complex.

An example of how the green point system would work: A high-efficiency irrigation system would be worth three points; adding a rainwater harvesting system would add one point to the total.

The minimum threshold of points would vary with the size of the project, and larger projects would require the use of professionals to certify that the project's point count reflects actual efficiency.

Institutional and non-residential projects would have to meet standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, with the LEED level varying by project size.

The Town Center received a LEED platinum, the highest rating.

Go to is.gd/9YqVH for more information about the green point system. The staff report to the council starts on page 51. The Build it Green checklist begins on page 62.

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