June 2007: The Green Room

Environmental Update

• DeKalb County’s Arabia Mountain High School will be Georgia’s first LEED-Silver public high school when it opens in 2009. LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) designation from the United States Building Council is based on a structure’s ability to conserve energy, minimally impact the environment and educate the public (projects are classified as silver, gold or platinum).

The new structure will feature a light colored roof to reflect sunlight; native plantings to reduce the need for irrigation; low flow plumbing fixtures, waterless urinals, sink sensors and 30 percent more ventilation than current code requires.

Building green saves the average school $100,000 a year, according to the Green Building Council.

• Atlanta’s Buckhead Coalition is offering $5,000 grants to gas stations to install ethanol pumps. The federal government offers grants of up to $30,000 per pump, and the General Assembly passed Sen. Ross Tolleson’s act authorizing Georgia incentives of up to $20,000 apiece (at press time Gov. Perdue had yet to sign it into law). The state has one ethanol manufacturing plant currently in operation; four more are planned.

• Atlanta’s Piedmont Park Conser-vancy will spend $72 million to expand the park by 53 acres on its northern edge and transform the pool house into an energy-efficient building with a new fountain. The expanded area will offer trails, a skate park with concessions and a handicap-accessible playground. – Ben Young

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