Building Green in a Red-Hot Market

Monday, July 13, 2015

Memphis Daily News (06/20/15) Deese, Holly

Nashville, Tenn.'s robust economy and development boom is generating concern for how the increased construction and population will affect the area's environment. Firms are looking to other cities' successes for guidance, such as The Gulch, one of the first four projects in Tennessee accepted into the U.S. Green Building Council's pilot certification program for large-scale developments called LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND). LEED ND certifies neighborhoods that integrate the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building. The Gulch, a walkable, bikeable community that reused 82 percent of its existing buildings to create mixed-used projects, was only the 10th project in the U.S. and the 13th project in the world to earn the LEED ND certification. Some issues Nashville needs to address include increasing the collection rate of their once-a-month curbside recycling program to weekly, which would significantly increase participation in the stagnating program. In addition, traffic issues need to be addressed to improve fuel consumption and air quality. Currently, there are no regulations in place to require green infrastructure. “We are missing an opportunity to have an honest, collaborative effort to come up with a solution that matches the challenge,” says Lipscomb University professor Dodd Galbreath. "It will probably be up to the private sector to make anything on a large scale happen."

Holly Deese 7/13/2015

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