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Posts Tagged ‘carbon emissions’

USGBC urges preservation of greenhouse gas measure

USGBC has submitted a public comment urging the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to keep in place the current greenhouse gas (GHG) measure for federal highways. This message came in response to a proposed rulemaking that would repeal the measure, which requires state transportation departments and metropolitan planning organizations to monitor on-road vehicle emissions and set targets for improvement.

The GHG measure applies to state and metro area transportation agencies that receive federal funding and is one of a suite of performance measures. The current rule does not impose any specific limit, but rather identifies on-road vehicle emissions as among the metrics appropriate for evaluating overall transportation system performance.

DOT initially suspended the GHG measure, which eight states then challenged in a lawsuit. Notably, each of the states—which included California, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—argued that they have the duty to protect their residents from the adverse effects of climate change. California, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, cited its own legislatively mandated targets for emissions reductions, as well as the state’s particular vulnerability to the consequences of high GHG emissions.

The built environment, which encompasses transportation systems and commercial, residential and industrial buildings, was responsible for 60 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2015, according to the U.S. EPA. Tracking these emissions is essential to making our cities and states more livable, healthy and green—especially since you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

LEED strongly supports GHG emission reduction through innovative and mindful design and implementation, including LEED credits that offer incentives to accommodate non-motorized modes of transportation and green vehicles, as well as rewarding strategies that provide access to reliable public transit.

USGBC will continue to monitor all transportation performance-measure rulemakings, in order to support ways for society to measure and understand externalities imposed by our built environment.

More bike lanes and bike-parking facilities smooth the way for cyclists

Published on 9 Nov 2016 Written by Heather Benjamin Posted in LEED

As cities and individuals seek to reduce carbon emissions, bicycle lanes and parking are growing to accommodate the influx of cyclists.

One of the ways that cities worldwide try to reduce their carbon emissions is through encouraging people to ride bicycles. We may not yet reach the level of the notoriously bike-friendly Copenhagen, which has 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes, but U.S. cities are also making a big push to add lanes for cyclists. This in turn creates a need for bicycle parking facilities, as more and more commuters are taking their bicycles to central work locations.

More cyclists, more lanes

In 2012, Capital Bike Share launched in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding counties, to provide a bike-sharing system for residents and tourists alike. Four years later, there are 235 bike stations in the District alone, with a total of over 3,700 bicycles available. Cyclists with longer commutes can also load their bikes onto Metro trains and buses. The increase in cyclists on the street is changing commuting in the region.

The rise of protected bike lanes in cities has also had a major effect. People for Bikes reported in 2013 that the number of cyclists in dedicated bike lanes along Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown D.C. had grown seven times faster than the citywide average.

Among other U.S. cities, San Francisco is making protected lanes a priority, as they plan to double their current total of 13 with 26 miles of protected lanes by the end of 2017. Going beyond road striping, Chicago has begun installing curb-protected bike lanes to make commuting even safer for riders.

Bike parking gets modern

The image of the lonely bike rack in front of an occasional municipal building or school is giving way to a more modern conception of bike storage being available along every city street and in every parking garage.

2009 transportation study suggested that a combination of bike racks and showers at an office building resulted in a much greater willingness of staff to cycle to work than having bike racks alone. As employers realize that bike facilities make sense, from the point of view of both sustainability and employee wellness, they increasingly want to provide the option to their workforce.


Heather Benjamin Posted in LEED

LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.