Mother Earth Living

Greensburg Sets New Standard in Green Building

Commitment to green building makes tiny Kansas town an eco-leader.
By Trevan McGee
January 2008 Web
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City officials in tornado-torn Greensburg, Kansas, passed a resolution requiring all rebuilt, city-owned buildings to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum status. This legislation makes Greensburg the first city in the U.S. to make such a commitment to green building.

“I am so excited about being the first city in the U.S. to adopt this system for a town. I am ecstatic about this commitment and what it is telling the world about our town's
character and where we are headed,” city administrator Steve Hewitt says.

Greensburg was nearly erased by a tornado on May 4, 2007. In the storm’s wake, city officials and Greensburg residents have committed to rebuilding a city that is easy on both the environment and the people. Under the ordinance, all city buildings greater than 4,000 square feet must meet the LEED Platinum standard and consume only 58 percent of the energy allowed by current building standards.

"This is just another important step in our recovery and our intentions to come back as one of the greenest towns in America," mayor John Janssen says.

Natural Home and sister publication Mother Earth News are also getting in on the action, renovating a Greensburg home. The model green home will include a full range of state-of-the-art green features, drawing heavily on energy-efficiency research of the Buildings Technology Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Stay tuned with Natural Home to follow the progress of this home as we join in rebuilding the town to the highest green standards.

More about Greensburg, Kansas

• Two years after the tornado, Greensburg is experiencing an eco-renewal. Read about the green efforts this tiny town has undertaken.

• President George Bush delivers the commencement speech to 18 graduating seniors in Greensburg exactly one year after the tornado.

• The Silo Eco-Home will be the first of 12 eco-tourism homes in Greensburg. Find out more about this green building.








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