Skip to main content

Amendments to the Green Buildings Act Have Been Passed

Yesterday, the amendments to the Green Building Act passed in the Rhode Island House and Senate.

This is a historic accomplishment for Rhode Island. We were the first state to adopt high level green building standards through the original Green Building Act back in 2009.

Rhode Island has taken these high standards one step further with these amendments by implementing LEED for Neighborhood Development and SITES standards as public policy and law. Learn more about LEED and SITES.

This bill will require public projects to incorporate green standards for the property around the building as well as for the building itself.

Sustainably designed and managed landscapes – from plazas and streetscapes to commercial and residential projects – create more resilient communities. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that capital cost savings associated with green infrastructure can range from 15 – 80 percent compared to traditional site infrastructure.

It also specifies that the state will implement four projects through December 2020, as a test for the new standard. It is important that good projects are selected and that these pilot projects are successful.

This is a big win, not only the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and the Green Infrastructure Coalition (of which Audubon is a member) but also Rhode Island’s infrastructure, ecosystems, workforce and economy.

Many thanks to Green Infrastructure Coalition (GIC) member Ken Filarski for his dedication and endless work to ensure this success for Rhode Island. He is working with the U.S. Green Building Council which has pledged technical support for these initial projects.

Audubon Senior Director of Policy Meg Kerr will continue to work with Ken and the GIC to follow the bill’s implementation.

Thank you to the House sponsors of the bill - Representatives Blazejewski, Edwards, Walsh, Marshall, and Marzalkowski and the RI House Finance Committee. Thank you to the Senate sponsors of the bill, Senators DiPalma, Sosnowski, Miller, Coyne, and Seveney, and the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture. Thank you to RI House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio for their leadership.

Thank you to the coalitions that support this legislation - U.S. Green Building Council Rhode Island, the national U.S. Green Building Council, the Environmental Council of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition, the Rhode Island Builders Association, and Grow Smart Rhode Island.

Audubon supporters make these successes possible. Thank you for being a voice for nature.