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Georgetown University Solar Project in Limb-o


By Greg Zimmerman Green
solar panels trees

Facility managers are used to facing all sorts of obstacles to their projects: competition for scant funds, objections from other departments about disruption and scheduling, and complaints from tenants or occupants that the project will negatively affect their experience of the building.

For Georgetown University, a project that could dramatically reduce the university’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions is facing pushback from an unexpected source: environmentalists. The solar project Georgetown has proposed would require clearing 210 acres of trees, according to The Washington Post.

“Green projects do not destroy trees,” says one environmentalist. Other environmentalists say the project could endanger the area’s birds and lead to water runoff, putting Chesapeake Bay tributaries at risk.

For Georgetown’s part, the university argues that the greenhouse gas emissions saved by the solar project would be equivalent to “hundreds of thousands of trees.”

Greg Zimmerman is executive editor of Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

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