In June 2008, the city of Chandler in the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area adopted Resolution 4199, the Green Building Program. The program has three main goals: the encouragement of green building certification among privately-owned buildings, the enhancement of city green building and the promotion of green building events, education and opportunities.
In order to help the city meet the first goal, several incentive programs are available for green building projects in Chandler. One of the incentive programs is based off the USGBC LEED certification system. Non city-owned buildings that are pursuing LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), Core and Shell (LEED-CS), LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) and Schools (LEED for Schools) are eligible for an expedited plan review by the city.
In addition to an expedited plan review, projects that ultimately attain LEED certification will be eligible for certification fee reimbursement. Depending on the size of the project, a building completed under the LEED-NC checklist will have certification fees ranging from $1,750 to $17,500. Buildings that are LEED certified may qualify for a 50% fee reimbursement, Silver certified projects are eligible for a 75% fee reimbursement and LEED Gold and Platinum certified projects qualify for a 100% reimbursement of certification fees.
The city has created a plan to help achieve the program’s second goal – to enhance green building in the City of Chandler. New City-owned buildings will need to aim for a minimum of LEED Silver certification. Existing buildings will have a variety of options including energy audits and energy retrofits, the acquisition of green power and pursuing LEED-EB certification if possible.
To meet the program’s third goal, the promotion of green building, the city will form partnerships with green building suppliers, participate in green building expos and maintain its membership with the U.S. Green Building Council.
A Chandler city planner attended the recent Build it Green Expo in Phoenix where many of the city’s green building plans were displayed. The program received $75,000 in funding for its first fiscal year, which ends this summer.
Unfortunately, the State of Arizona is facing a major financial crisis and the Legislature is slashing funds across the board. As a result, many municipalities within the state are also making difficult budget cuts. The City of Chandler is not cushioned from this but there is no word whether the program’s funds for the coming fiscal year are at risk.