Boston Calls for New Buildings to go Green

Plans are underway in Boston to formulate new policies that will require large buildings that were newly constructed to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. As the city made this move, enthusiasts of the policy view the move as a pathway to creating a carbon-neutral scheme more approachable and conventional.

According to John Dalzell, a senior architect for Sustainable development in the Boston Planning and Development Agency, this new move will prove to be very challenging to some of the people like a lot of questioning of the industry norms and others were being challenged. He, however, stated that he was happy with the abolishment of some of these old traditions.

A plan for achieving zero emissions in the City of Boston was released in 2019 in the Carbon Free Boston report. The reduction of the discharges by buildings that attribute 70% of the city’s total emission was a core move. The city has other strategies in the pipeline which will help in achieving its goal of going green. The city has a scheme that requires buildings that are over 35,000 square feet to give reports on their annual energy use. There is also a development underway on the standards of performance that will require all the big buildings to meet targets set on reducing emissions. In the previous years, the city entered into a partnership with Eversource to roll out an energy efficiency hub. Resources will be dedicated to assisting the large construction owners in finding means to decrease energy consumption.

The city’s move to require new buildings to adhere to the terms of the new policy has so far been viewed as the most aggressive in the bid to go green. Though the details are still underway, the new requirements are expected to change the existing green housing zoning guidelines to cover constructions exceeding 50,000 square feet, which covers about two-thirds of the city’s new buildings. According to Dalzell, over time, there should be an expectation of falling the threshold to cover more buildings.

The zoning initiative will house the regulations rather than building code, which is considered at the state level, and some of the cities may be lenient on their regulations to match those set forth by the state. According to Dalzell, the main objective is to develop regulations that will advocate the three core strategies for bringing emissions down: efficiency on energy, on-site renewable energy generation, and clean energy sourcing. Though the technology and know-how of achieving these are already in place, they still require to be exploited in a coordinated manner for maximum impact, Dalzell further stated.