The U.S. Green Building Council (USBC) and the Sierra Club have joined forces to help educate the public about the importance of green building through the “Green Buildings for Cool Cities” project. As part of this project, the two organizations will be offering green building tours in cities across the country. Members of the public will be able to take a tour of green homes, banks, schools, commercial buildings, and even neighborhoods that have either received LEED certification or are in the process of pursuing certification under the USGBC’s green building rating system.

Buildings are responsible for 40% of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 70% of the nation’s electricity use. Providing energy efficient retrofits of existing buildings and constructing new buildings to LEED standards are an integral part of reducing our nation’s overall energy use.

One way to help educate both the public as well as building professionals about the importance of green building is through tours. “Touring a high-performing green building is an opportunity to experience firsthand its benefits—from energy, water and money savings, to the cleaner air and abundant daylight that makes them healthier places to live, work and learn,” said Roger Platt, USGBC’s Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Law. (Source: USGBC)

Details about the Green Buildings for Cool Cities tours are provided below.

Charlotte, North Carolina – Charlotte residents can tour the Cherry Gardens Senior Apartments, a LEED for Homes registered low-income multifamily development. Contact Beth Clark at 704-575-4482 or Daria Milburn at 704-936-9433 for more information.

Tennessee – Green building tours will be offered in Chattanooga, Cookville, Crossville, Johnson, Knoxville, Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Nashville. Contact Stephen Sondheim at 901-761-1793 or Elizabeth Eason at 865-368-5075 for more information.

Colorado – Denver residents can tour the LEED Gold certified Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building and Fort Collins residents can tour the LEED registered Poudre Fire Authority Station #4. For more information on these two opportunities, call Jonah Fruchter at 303-945-1152 or Patti Mason at 303-454-3391.

San Jose, California – The Integrated Design Associates headquarters, which was designed to have a net-zero energy usage as well as net-zero carbon emissions is the featured stop in California. Contact Julio Magalhaes at 650-390-8441 for tour details.

Augusta, Maine – Hannaford’s, the first LEED Platinum grocery store in the world, will be participating in the green building tours. Call Glen Brand at 207-272-0484 or Katye Charette at 207-329-0700 for details.

Brookfield, Wisconsin – Call Rosemary Wehnes at 414-828-1357 or Sue Loomans at 414-224-9422 for details on the Environmental Systems Inc tour.

Reno, Nevada – The USGBC and the Sierra Club are offering tours of three different green buildings in Reno. Call David von Seggren at 775-303-8461 for details.

For more information on the tours, visit the Green Buildings for Cool Cities website.

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