City of Grand Rapids Explores Building Performance Standards for Buildings and Homes

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan (USGBC-WM) applauds the City of Grand Rapids for prioritizing the built environment and human health impacts of carbon. The City recently announced that they are committed to the exploration of inclusive building performance standards. They will do this through policies and programs focused on carbon reductions and healthier building operations. This important work will drive investment into building retrofits and job creation that result in healthier buildings, increased affordability, and lower energy costs. Among 32 other city leaders across the country, the City of Grand Rapids has joined the National Building Performance Standard (BPS) Coalition, a collaboration launched by White House Council on Environmental Quality. See the official press release here.

The City’s participation in the BPS Coalition directly compliments the Equitable, Healthy and Zero Carbon Building Initiative (E.H.Zero) in which the USGBC-WM is a proud partner alongside the Urban Core Collective and the City. The USGBC-WM participates through the Grand Rapids 2030 District (GR2030) program, a public/private partnership of building owners and operators aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Ways to take Action - Are you a City of Grand Rapids stakeholder?

On Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 9:00am the City of Grand Rapids, GR2030 & Urban Core Collective will launch the E.H.Zero virtual series where you can participate in the conversation. The E.H.Zero Series will introduce this local initiative and take a deep dive into policies and programs that could be considered for Grand Rapids. Your voice is critical to the development of solutions for our city. Sign up here to participate in the E.H.Zero Series and bring your ideas on how we can move forward together: Sign up for the webinar series here.

Exclusively for Building Owners: What is your carbon impact?

GR2030 will soon offer a free platform to building owner members who want to gain an understanding of the carbon footprint from their building operations in real-time. Through our new partnership with Ledger8760, energy and carbon data from building operations is displayed on an automated dashboard that you can access on demand. If you would like to learn more as we roll out this exclusive platform you can indicate your interest here, or contact the program manager, Gillian Giem at gillian@usgbcwm.org

Why reduce carbon in the built environment?

This announcement comes at a critical time for our local and global community. There is a clear calling globally to improve our built environment and create conditions that are resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. For reference, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2022 publication Chapter 9 details the impact of buildings and best points of intervention. 

West Michigan joined this global community when the USGBC-WM was announced as an incoming International Center of Excellence for High Performance Buildings (ICE HPB) by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) in Glasgow on October 3, 2021 during the COP26 summit. A transition to operate as a low carbon economy will create a healthy, more vibrant future for ourselves and the next generation. Through the E.H.Zero project and the City’s participation in the National BPS Coalition, Grand Rapids is positioned as an economic engine and front runner of innovation in West Michigan and across the country.

If you are not a current member of the Grand Rapids 2030 District you can join us here.

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