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Boston will adopt green building standards

BOSTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- City officials in Boston announced plans to require stricter building standards to promote energy efficiency.

The city will be the first in the nation with green building requirements if the Boston Redevelopment Authority accepts the recommendations into the zoning laws during its Thursday meeting.

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The standards, recommended by one of Mayor Thomas Menino's task forces, would mandate that new buildings meet requirements involving efficient heating and cooling, use of recycled materials, separation and disposal of waste and energy efficient walls and glass. Out of 70 design areas, 26 would have to meet green standards.

Boston's standards, however, would not require the buildings to meet the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

"The LEED process can be lengthy, onerous in documentation and costly," said James Hunt, chief of Boston's Environmental and Energy Services. "Also, we don't want to rely on a third party to do the certification process."

Boston will use similar certification requirements, just not as strict. The process will be less complicated, Hunt said.

The proposed standards were met with enthusiasm by most but some opposed the new regulations. Local developers argued that it will be too expensive and time consuming to follow the new guidelines, especially when trying to update existing buildings.

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