In the midst of a global pandemic, Kane County continues to push for sustainable planning to shape the future of our built environment.
The Kane County Board passed a Green Building Policy on Tuesday (Feb. 9, 2021) to bring a “Leading by Example” sustainability approach to Kane County government.
Under the new policy, all newly constructed buildings owned and operated by Kane County and all county buildings scheduled for capital improvement, renovations or remodeling will be designed, built, and operated in accordance with the standards of the LEED Green Building Rating System, and each new building must meet the requirements for LEED certification.
Kane County Department of Environment and Water Resources Director Jodie Wollnik said the policy is a win-win that implements sustainable and innovative protocols and reveals the value of environmentally friendly design.
“Green buildings not only conserve resources and save energy, but also show a savings in building systems and operations costs, which saves the county funding that could be used elsewhere,” she said. “Not to mention, green buildings provide healthier indoor workspaces for our citizens, which is especially important to think about right now as we continue to return to business as usual during this pandemic.”
According to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, buildings contribute the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in Kane County.
Wollnik said the new policy acts as a guide for Kane County to design, build and operate buildings in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“Some of the ways in which we can lower a building’s greenhouse gas emissions are to use energy efficient technology, economize the resources we already have, provide healthier indoor environmental air quality and conserve water with smart design,” she said.
The policy will act as a guide by including the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design principles, the most widely recognized and utilized green building rating system in the world. Wollnik said the policy reflects the ongoing environmental stewardship that has always been a part of Kane County history and is supported by the Kane County 2040 Plan.
Kane County Resource Management Coordinator Ivy Klee said she’s proud that Kane County is taking a leadership role in the promotion of green energy.
“It’s awesome to see Kane County continue to take strides toward conserving and protecting the resources we currently have within our built environment, as well as setting sustainable goals for the future,” she said.
County Board Member Mavis Bates, chair of the Energy and Environmental Committee, adds,
“I’m so impressed with what our team has accomplished and what the whole County Board has approved,” she said. “Kane County is headed in the right direction for sustainability and making the world a better place for future generations.”
Please see more on the Kane County “Leading by Example” Green Building Policy at this link.
SOURCE: Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources news release