FIVE/12 Agenda

Streamlining City wide green building

In 2009, The City of Bellingham Planning and Community Development (PCD) Green Team developed the FIVE/12 Agenda. With support from Sustainable Connections, the PCD Green Team made substantial progress on FIVE green building barriers over the course of 12 months. The following are descriptions of accomplishments for each one.

Incorporate LEED-ND prerequisites and other sustainable frameworks into Urban Villages

Urban Villages comply with the essential components of LEED-ND, due in large part to the mixed-use design and the transit and pedestrian orientation that are an integral part of this development approach. The first urban village, Old Town, and the recently-approved Samish Way Urban Village, have development regulations that include components of LEED-ND. The planning underway for the Fountain Urban Village intends do the same.

Analyze effectiveness of “Green Factor” program

The Green Factor is a scorecard for low impact development techniques and landscaping requirements that results in an increase in the quality and quantity of landscaping provided with new development. The Green Factor was adopted this year in the Urban Infill Toolkit for townhomes and courtyards, and was incorporated in the landscaping requirements in commercial areas of the Samish Way Urban Village.

Identify, analyze, and make available to the public alternative methods for green construction

“Advanced Methods and Materials” (AMM) have been developed by the Building Official to allow and promote green alternatives. Some examples include: roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels and waterless urinals. AMMs are intended to respond to interest from green builders; the Building Official has more AMMs in the works.

Develop a green permit review team

An interdepartmental team has been established to review BuiltGreen, LEED, and comparable “green” building designs. A designated lead for the team serves as project manager for green building projects which will result in a more coordinated review. Team members are familiar with green building techniques and will take advantage of educational opportunities to keep up with the industry.

Analyze a system for reducing permit review time

The Green Team analyzed reducing permit review time for certain green building projects as a way to make green building potentially more attractive, in addition to offering the green permit review team. As a result, the Green Team will pilot a reduced permit review time in 2010 to determine its effectiveness as an incentive. In addition, the Permit Center is developing helpful guidelines and over-the-counter permits to accelerate approval of weatherization and energy efficiency projects anticipated due to federal stimulus money.

Contact for more information:  Kim Weil