Building Green: Onus or Bonus?

Zoning Practice — April 2005

By Rebecca Retzlaff, AICP


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According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings in the United States account for 65 percent of electricity consumption, 36 percent of total energy usage, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 12 percent of potable water consumption, and 30 percent of raw materials usage.

Green building regulations are in building and municipal codes now, but the zoning ordinance holds new promise for sustainability. Zoning examples include green building certification requirements for planned unit developments, green roof incentives in designated zones, water-conserving landscaping requirements for new development, and performance-based approaches to promote green building development.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses how a growing number of cities are using development incentives and requirements to promote green buildings.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2005
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Rebecca Retzlaff, AICP