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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2013

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

LEED Certifiable, Green Building Policy, Boston Green Buildings, Article 37

Abstract

In 2007, Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) implemented an amendment to the Boston Zoning Code Article 37 (Green Buildings) requiring new construction approved under Article 80B (Development Review and Approval: Large Project Review) be designed and built to meet the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (USGBC LEED) certification. This amendment is intended to promote green building practices in the city and reduce the environmental impacts of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. Article 37 does not require that the buildings actually achieve LEED certification, but they need to be LEED certifiable as determined by an interagency review committee and with the endorsement of a LEED Accredited Professional.

This study examines how environmental goals have been translated into policy and how this policy has affected building practice in the City of Boston. The Green Buildings amendment was enacted to help curb greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the energy consumption of the building stock and is expected to help achieve the City’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 25% by the year 2020 and 80% by the year 2050. This is not possible without a shift in the current building and construction paradigm. Through interviews with building professionals we assess whether this building code amendment has resulted in any necessary changes in practice and whether or not those working under the standard of LEED certifiability believe it to be an effective policy.

First Advisor

Simi Hoque

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