Roswell implements green building incentives

Voluntary rebate program for builders

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ROSWELL, Ga. – The city took another step toward a greener future with the approval of a voluntary building green policy. This resolution furthers the city’s goal of reaching gold certification for the green communities program through the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The city has created a rebate to the building permit fee for those builders who decide to build green. Councilmember Betty Price dissented to the rebate.

“I feel like some of our incentives might be coercion to something that would be onerous to a business or home,” she said, “I’m in favor for businesses and residents being green as possible. But it is not always possible to meet the standards. I worry we might put too much on our businesses.”

The rebate is insignificant in nature to the cost of building green, Councilmember Rich Dippolito pointed out. Builders would get back a couple hundred dollars when it would cost more than $10,000 to go green.

“It’s kind of a token gesture, really,” he said. “Although it is an incentive, it is not a financial advantage to do it.”

Citing the financial investment, Roswell Community Development Director Alice Wakefield said, “It would have to be something they truly desired to do. [Building green] is entirely voluntary for the builder to do. We are not insisting on any builders to do it.”

The most common building green certification sought is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is based on a points scale system. Points are rewarded to builders who implement green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Builders must reach a minimum amount of points to qualify. The U.S. Green Building Council governs LEED.

With the new green policy, Roswell looks to move forward in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) Green Communities program — a list that the city of Milton joined last year. The ARC has outlined specific policies designed to reduce a city’s overall environmental impact.

There are three levels of certification — bronze, silver and gold. According to www.atlantaregional.com, cities have several categories to work in before reaching certification such as water reduction, recycling, transportation and green building.