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Los Angeles to toughen green building standards
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10:34, February 17, 2008

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Los Angeles city officials have proposed to enact tighter green building standards so as to change the city's image of choking smog and fuel-burning gridlock, it was reported Saturday.

The standards would require large, privately built commercial and residential projects to use environmentally sound practices, the Los Angeles Times said.

Under the ordanance proposed by two City Council committees on Friday, all major commercial and residential developments were required to slash projected energy and water use and reduce the overall environmental footprint, placing the city on the cutting edge of an international movement to address the global warming effects of buildings, said the paper.

The ordinance also required privately built projects over 50,000 square feet to meet a "standard of sustainability" by incorporating a checklist of green practices into their building plans, according to the paper.

The checklist includes a choice of such items as low-flow toilets, paints with low emissions, use of recycled materials, efficient irrigation, solar panels and use of natural light, the paper said.

The average green building, according to studies, saves 36 percent in energy, 40 percent in water, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and solid waste by 70 percent.

Nationwide, buildings account for 71 percent of electricity consumption, 12 percent of potable water used and 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet to dangerous levels.

The council's proposed green checklist -- known as the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, or LEED, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

More than 120 localities in the nation have adopted green building rules for public construction, and 12 cities, including Boston, Washington and San Francisco, have extended the rules to the private sector, but Los Angeles would be the largest city in the nation to do so, according to the report.

Source: Xinhua

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