Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

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The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

TX Among Top 10 States for Green Building in 2022

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023   

The 2022 ranking of "green" buildings shows Texas in 9th place, demonstrating a commitment to LEED certification, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" - a standard created by the Council and used worldwide to define best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings.

Ryan Snow, regional director for U.S. Market Transformation & Development, said in 2022 the top 10 states plus the District of Columbia, certified just over 1,200 projects.

"They had seven projects in Texas that were over a million square feet, upwards of two-million square feet," Snow said. "Those larger projects certainly have a larger environmental and health footprint."

Snow said the LEED rating system is the world's most widely used green building program. Texas was in 9th place last year, and has often appeared in the top 10 since the program began in 1994. In 2022, Massachusetts topped the list.

Rhiannon Jacobson, managing director of U.S. Market Transformation and Development, and also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, said the annual LEED listing is based on U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional building projects that show a commitment to climate action, occupant wellbeing and resource efficiency.

"When you think about a LEED building - it is going to be covering everything from the air quality of the building itself, the amount of energy and water that it's using, the amount of waste it's creating, to the occupant experience," Jacobson said.

Jacobson said LEED certification shows a level of leadership to company employees who understand its importance and, in turn, makes working in a LEED certified building more attractive.

"There is a kind-of natural inclination towards being in places that you know are going to be healthier and that are going to meet your interests," she said.

Jacobson said Washington, D.C. does not appear in the official top 10 list, but consistently leads the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita. She added in addition to addressing climate change, LEED buildings can also help reduce operational and maintenance costs.


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