by Samantha Rosen
In efforts to promote occupant health and productivity, Rockville has implemented a Green Building Program that reduces the negative environmental impact of buildings in the city.
Rockville adopted this program on May 10, 2010, after residents on the Environmental Commission proposed it in 2008. The program’s goal is to make codes for new construction and significant renovation “greener;” to save energy and to create a healthier environment, according to Erica Shingara, Rockville’s Sustainability Coordinator.
Green Building considers energy efficiency of buildings, transportation options and traffic impacts, historic preservation, water quality, water conservation, air quality, health of the indoor environment, materials reuse and recycling.
However, Green Building adds some additional paperwork, considerations and testing that some residents, especially those who may be working on a small project, do not want to go through, Shingara said. To ensure that construction complies with the green standards, each project must pass a series of checklists and inspection requirements.
“Anything that is new is more complicated,” Rockville’s Construction Inspection Supervisor Robert Purkey said. “It is more information that the inspectors need to know and be aware of. We have had to have training on the program so that inspectors can get to know the green codes and green requirements.”
Residents, though, can select what green components they want to incorporate into their projects. They can choose which components make the most sense to them and give them the best value. These components come from various different areas, including, but not limited to, water efficiency, energy efficiency and resource efficiency.
“We have seen value in the market go up and seen people go above and beyond to find value in promoting green projects,” Shingara said. “This program has raised the bar for all new projects that come in.”
Rockville View is pleased to publish this article by Samantha Rosen: “I am a Journalism and Government and Politics double major at the University of Maryland. I grew up in Miami, Florida where I wrote for a monthly column for a local magazine and was Editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper, beginning my journalism career. At school, I write for a variety of different publications, including Unwind and The Mitzpeh. Last summer, I interned for Ocean Drive Magazine. I’m exited to see where my journalism path takes me.”