Multnomah County, OR Green Building Policy
Status: Adopted on 1/17/08
RESOLUTION NO. 08-004
Adopting a LEED Gold and High Performance Green Building Policy for Multnomah County and Repealing Resolution 04-178
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Finds:
a. On December 2, 2004, by Resolution No. 04-178; the Board adopted policy recommendations to utilize the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED) criteria in future County building construction projects.
b. Since that time, green building practices and industry standards have improved and become more cost effective, and an updated policy is necessary to maximize the cost savings potential for the County and minimize adverse environmental impacts.
c. Multnomah County recognizes and accepts its responsibility to implement and promote building practices that protect Multnomah County’s natural and built environment.
d. This resolution reflects Multnomah County’s continued commitment to be an acknowledged environmental leader and to encourage environmentally sensitive construction practices in the county by adopting construction practices inspired by the LEED certification process.
e. Updated high performance green building practices should be implemented as reports show that:
- Development and construction practices are main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of air and water pollution, habitat loss, solid waste, deforestation, toxic waste, health hazards, global climate change, and other negative consequences.
- Buildings use one-quarter of the world’s wood harvest.
- Buildings consume two-fifths of all material and energy flows.
- Fifty-four percent of North American energy consumption is directly or indirectly related to building construction and operation.
- Buildings are responsible for 48% of electricity demand (40% to operate and 8% to construct).
- Building construction and operations account for 35% of North American carbon dioxide emissions and 38% of Oregon carbon dioxide emissions.
- Improving energy efficiency is a critical first step toward solving the climate change problem.
g. Green building practices provide the framework and tools to build in an efficient, healthy, and ecologically responsible manner. It has been shown that green buildings:
- consume about 36% less energy than conventional structures;
- reduce long-term greenhouse gas emissions in a cost effective manner;
- consume key resources like water, materials, and land more efficiently than buildings that are just built to code;
- create healthier work environments, with more natural light and better air, and typically contribute to improved employee health, comfort, productivity, and retention;
- are a key state and local economic strategy that supports the local economy, creates new local industries, and promotes green collar jobs; and
- save money through decreased operation and maintenance costs.
h. High performance green buildings are a cost effective fiscal tool and a wise government investment strategy. Including up-front costs, the investment in green buildings for Multnomah County will yield significant taxpayer savings over the life cycle of our buildings. Green building case studies indicate that with initial integrated design, sustainable buildings have an average 0-2% increase in design/construction costs over their conventional counterparts, but the overall long-term financial return due to reduced operating, maintenance and other costs, are approximately ten times the initial average cost of green construction. Data from existing LEED Gold certified projects indicates there is a quick payback on any additional design and construction costs incurred due to green building practices, and then followed by a continued return for many years of savings over the useful life of the building.
i. This resolution supports Multnomah County’s adopted Sustainability Principles and Local Action Plan on Global Warming.
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Resolves:
1. That Resolution No. 04-178 dated December 2, 2004 is repealed.
2. That high performance green building practices shall be utilized for all Multnomah County building construction and major renovation projects 10,000 square feet and greater.
- Multnomah County will strive for the highest level of LEED certification whenever practicable.
- If costs to achieve the highest level of LEED certification are over 3% of the entire cost, the project will be brought to the Board for approval.
3. That new building construction projects for County-owned facilities will be designed and built to achieve LEED Gold certification for new construction (LEED-NC) or better, when the total LEED project life cycle cost analysis demonstrates an operational cost savings payback within 10 years for any cost premium above industry standard. • At a minimum, seven of the total LEED points achieved shall be energy efficiency credits or the building will be designed to achieve 30% energy efficiency above the Oregon Energy Code.
4. That major renovation projects in all County-owned buildings will achieve LEED Gold certification for commercial interiors (LEED-CI) or better, when the total LEED project life cycle cost analysis demonstrates an operational cost savings payback within 10 years of any cost premium above industry standard.
5. That major renovation projects 10,000 square feet and greater in all County-leased buildings will achieve LEED Gold certification for commercial interiors (LEED-CI) or better, when the total LEED project life cycle cost analysis demonstrates an operational cost savings payback within the term of the lease for any cost premium above industry standard.
6. All existing County-owned facilities will be operated and maintained utilizing the LEED-Existing Building (LEED-EB) Silver standard or better, which will help Multnomah County maintain facilities built to LEED standards; and achieve, for existing buildings, previously-adopted sustainability goals including the Green Cleaning Policy, the Local Action Plan on Global Warming, Recycling Policy, and Toxics Reduction Strategy.
- LEED-EB Silver certification will be sought for buildings designated as Tier I primary facilities by Multnomah County Facilities and Property Management with the goal of certifying five sites by 2015.
7. Multnomah County will incorporate life-cycle cost analyses in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of all County-owned buildings. • All new County building construction projects will be designed for a minimum 50-year life span.
8. Multnomah County will adopt the following components of the Architecture 2030 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strive to:
- Design all new buildings and major renovations to meet a fossil fuel, greenhouse gas emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% the U.S. average for that building type as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, when the total project life cycle cost analysis demonstrates an operational cost savings payback within 10 years, or the term of the lease, for any cost premium above industry standard.
- Increase the fossil fuel reduction standard for all new building construction projects to carbon neutral (meaning new buildings will use no fossil fuel greenhouse gas emitting energy to operate) by the year 2030, when the total project life cycle cost analysis demonstrates an operational cost savings payback within 10 years for any cost premium above industry standard. Carbon neutrality goals will be increased incrementally to 100% by 2030 as follows:
- 60% in 2010
- 70% in 2015
- 80% in 2020
- 90% in 2025
9. That all new building construction projects or major renovation projects above 10,000 square feet that cannot achieve the green building goals stated herein with a total project life cycle cost analysis that demonstrates a payback within 10 years or the term of the lease, may be brought before the Board for a discussion and vote on the premium to achieve the goal(s) beyond a 10 year payback or the term of the lease on a project by project basis.
10. Facilities and Property Management is directed to finalize administrative procedures to implement this policy within six months of adoption of this resolution.
11. Periodic progress reporting on implementation of this Policy shall be presented to the Board of Commissioners by Facilities and Property Management and the Sustainability Program.