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San Jose To Require LEED Silver Certification
The San Jose City Council has voted unanimously to require the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for new city facilities over 10,000 square feet beginning July 1, 2007.
San Jose was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt a green building policy when its first policy was passed in June 2001. Since the Council approved green building guidelines and policies in 2001, much progress has been made toward building sustainable, energy-efficient city buildings and providing outreach and education for the private sector, according to USGBC.
"I saw this as an opportunity for San Jose to be a leader in sustainability, as well as sending a message to markets that support green design that San Jose has led, and will continue to lead in this area," says Linda LeZotte, San Jose City council member.
Within City facilities, nine libraries, one joint facility, and two community centers have been constructed - achieving the equivalent to the USGBC LEED Certified level of 26 points or higher.
Careful review of the cost benefit of producing a LEED Silver building has shown that the additional cost of Silver vs. Certified is minimal while the incremental cost avoidance is substantial, according to USGBC. The West Valley Library in San Jose, the first LEED Certified library in the world, reports a 34 percent energy reduction over traditional construction methods.