Written by Caye Cook, RLA, ASLA & Lindsey White, RLA, ASLA Category SITE & LANDSCAPE

Native vegetation, specific to the environmental locality of projects, is one specific element that works in concert with the intent and detail of a sustainable site as defined in the LEED Rating Systems.  These elements affect many credits within the sustainable site and water efficiency categories that should be considered at the outset of each project and implemented to meet overall sustainable strategies of particular projects.  These native plantings are indigenous to the local area and significantly reduce water requirements for the plantings.

Written by Thom Powell, AIA LEED AP Category ENERGY

The 2030 Challenge offers a timeline for creating buildings that produce as much energy as they use – “net zero energy”.  As we begin to contemplate the conclusion of the year 2009, we are about to arrive at the initial benchmark of 2010.  This is the point where we are able to achieve a 60% reduction over 1990 levels of energy consumption for newly constructed buildings.  Per the 2030 Challenge, the first 50% could be achieved through energy efficiency.  Presumably, the next 10% will come from alternative energy sources, either localized, centralized or through a form of renewal energy certificates.  So, it is natural for one to ask where we are in the development of alternative energy resources here in Dallas, in Texas and in the United States, in general.  

Written by R. Kirk Johnson, AIA, LEED AP Category REGIONALIZATION

Most of us have heard or seen the publicized saying that states, “Think globally. Act locally”.  The essence of the statement implies that a combination of global perspective and local implementation is an effective way to produce change.  Of all the applicable components that this theme indicates, there is a timely opportunity to implement specific locality in the green building construction industry.  Although significant strides have been made in the past few years regarding green building construction, specifically as measured by the USGBC LEED Rating System, the overall implementation is relatively early in the adoption process in the United States at Federal, State, and Local levels.  Much has been accomplished.  Much needs to be completed.

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