Michigan proposal puts LEED power into local hands

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature would permit local governments to mandate green-building standards.

By Source: Dan Meisler, Ann Arbor Business Review March 17, 2009

According to an article in the Ann Arbor Business Review , a Michigan state representative has introduced a bill that would allow local governmental bodies to implement U.S. Green Building Council LEED building requirements that go beyond statewide regulations.

House Bill 4775—introduced by Rep. Kate Ebli, D-Monroe–would give local leaders greater leeway in implementing green building legislation. The proposed bill names the USGBC’s LEED and the National Green Building Standard as allowable under the bill.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje voiced support for the measure, stating he would advocate for implementing energy-efficiency standards such as requiring a certain amount of insulation in new construction projects if the bill becomes law. Hieftje also said he’d be favor of requiring LEED standards, but energy-efficiency rules may get more political support more quickly.

Hieftje said LEED or standards developed by the American Institute of Architects could serve as models for local codes, adding that local leaders should be mindful of the increased expenses that green building may imposes on developers, and on the potential payback.