According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency USEPA and other sources, buildings in the U.S. account for:
- ~39% of total energy use (~65% of the electricity consumption)
- 12% of potable water consumption
- 38% of total carbon dioxide emissions
- 30% of raw material use
- 30% of waste output (nearly 140 million tons annually)
Green building practices are often promoted as a strategy to reduce and minimize these environmental impacts. Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources – energy, water, and material – while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.
On September 2, 2008, the Charlottesville City Council adopted a resolution to implement green building practices for City construction projects.
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Charlottesville is a signatory to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which promotes sustainable building practices and energy efficiency;
WHEREAS, the City Council’s 2025 Vision Statement and the City’s Comprehensive Plan incorporate goals and objectives related to green building practices;
WHEREAS, the number green building related efforts to-date support the City’s goals and commitment to environmental improvement and sustainability;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Charlottesville as follows:
- The City of Charlottesville is committed to incorporating green building practices regarding site selection and development, water and energy efficiency, air quality protection, and material selection (with regards to both origin and content).
- That the USGBC LEED standard will be used to guide the design and construction process for all major City owned buildings and renovation projects to ensure that a basic suite of practices are consistently incorporated.
- That an internal cross-departmental team of knowledgeable staff review all major building construction and renovation projects and evaluate whether such projects present the opportunity to pursue LEED or similar third-party certification.
- That City Council is informed on a regular basis of the status of green building efforts, including certification(s).
- That staff continue to monitor industry standards by which green building practices are evaluated in order to ensure that any third-party certification process is appropriate and applicable to municipal projects.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System™ is a nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. There are four levels of LEED Certification – Certified, Silver, Gold and the highest rating, Platinum.
City of Charlottesville LEED Certified Projects: