The Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), with the strong support of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, approved a package of financial incentives and policy changes to promote green building design.
"We have taken advantage of an opportunity to shape the future and promote sustainable and green development in the City of Pittsburgh," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "Advancing our green building agenda will improve our economy and create new jobs and is the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do. The green building agenda offers local economic development advantages by positioning and marketing Pittsburgh as the black and gold, and green city."
The financial incentives include lower rates and extended payment deferral periods for projects pursuing a United States Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. LEED certification for housing is not currently available, but URA staff will work with developers and engage in pilot projects to determine the extent and type of assistance necessary to promote green design in this area.
URA plans to seek funding for a staff position to develop, educate, implement, and track URA's green initiatives and continue to help the URA move towards innovative and sustainable ideas. URA will monitor energy savings results, map locations of existing green buildings, and partner with other agencies to educate contractors about green building material availability.
Policy changes will include implementation of green principles in URA sponsored engineering and construction projects and placing greater weight on the incorporation of green building design in assessing developer proposals and funding applications.
URA provides over $1,000,000 every year in low interest loans to homeowners in the City of Pittsburgh for home improvement projects. URA engineering and construction staff already provides technical assistance to homeowners on these projects, now this assistance will be expanded to include providing information about energy saving products. URA hopes to seek funds from local foundations to provide grants to very low income homeowners to assist with these costs.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687