City commits to LEED Platinum rebuilding plan

Greensburg, Kan. The city council here has passed a resolution to certify all city-owned buildings LEED Platinum, making it the first city in the U.S. to pass such a resolution. The city, devastated by a massive tornado on May 4, 2007, has focused its recovery on rebuilding as a model green community. In mid-December, the city council adopted a resolution that all city buildings greater than 4,000

Greensburg, Kan. — The city council here has passed a resolution to certify all city-owned buildings LEED Platinum, making it the first city in the U.S. to pass such a resolution.

The city, devastated by a massive tornado on May 4, 2007, has focused its recovery on rebuilding as a model green community. In mid-December, the city council adopted a resolution that all city buildings greater than 4,000 sq. ft. will be certified LEED Platinum and will be required to reduce energy use by 42% over current building code requirements.

LEED Platinum is the highest rating a building can achieve under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The city of Greensburg has taken the extraordinary step of committing to rebuild their community to a new vision, not settling for simply recreating what had gone before,“ said Rick Fedrizzi, the USGBC's president, CEO and founding chairman. “By committing to a recovery plan based on green building, the community's leadership has set a path that will result in a healthier, more livable city for its citizens, turning a crisis into an opportunity that is an example for us all.“

“I am so excited about being the first city in the U.S. to adopt this system for a town,” City Administrator Steve Hewitt said following the council's vote. “I am ecstatic about this commitment and what it is telling the world about our town's character and where we are headed.“

Mayor John Janssen said, “This is just another important step in our recovery and our intentions to come back as one of the greenest towns in America.“

BNIM Architects of Kansas City, Mo., worked with the city to draft the resolution and to educate the community on the benefits of LEED Platinum certification. The firm also is developing a comprehensive master plan to rebuild the city based around the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability.

“BNIM is pleased to help Greensburg achieve its goal of rebuilding in a sustainable, energy-efficient manner that will result in significant operational savings for years to come,“ said Stephen Hardy, associate of BNIM Architects and project leader for the city's comprehensive master plan. “This is a landmark resolution for Greensburg and makes the city a model for communities across the nation.”

The green rebuilding effort has support from Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and its subcontractors are providing technical assistance on all aspects of energy use and building design in the city.

As part of the town's “Green Initiative,“ 10 commercial and public buildings here have committed to being LEED certified. Additional information is available at www.bnim.com/greensburg.