November 2006 

Top Stories

Las Vegas Goes Green

As the city of Las Vegas grows, the City Council continues to look for ways to promote and encourage sustainable development. The city’s new Green Building Program was developed in conjunction with a number of community partners to encourage construction that conserves water and energy, uses building materials efficiently, incorporates recycled and renewable products and improves the overall indoor environment.

The program applies to both residential and commercial construction. The residential portion of the program was developed in conjunction with the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership, formed by the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association and the Green Building Initiative. A new home built by one of the partnership’s builders qualifies as a green building if a number of requirements are met. These include, but are not limited to, indoor environmental quality, enhanced homeowner education on sustainable living and heightened water and energy efficiency standards.

Also part of the program is a commitment to ensure that new city facilities will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified. This national certification is overseen by the United States Green Building Council, a coalition of building industry leaders. Several buildings in the city of Las Vegas, including the Lied Animal Shelter  and the Las Vegas Springs Preserve , have been recognized nationally for their environmentally sensitive design. The Molasky Corporate Center, currently under construction in downtown Las Vegas, is the first local commercial development being built to achieve LEED certification.

The city’s new Green Building Program is just the latest in a long list of efforts to create and manage orderly and sustainable development in our community. The city recently created the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards, which will recognize projects that foster the city’s commitment to sustainability and livability. The city also has a nationally-recognized alternative fuel program and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of America’s “Best Workplaces for Commuters.” The city has also been recognized as a “Tree City U.S.A.” for the last 14 years by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

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