Last Friday was a momentous occasion here in my city of Waco, Texas. The occasion…the grand opening of the new Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce building.
Okay, so that in itself probably doesn’t sound too exciting. But what makes it momentous is that this building is the first green building in our city, and it’s also the first green chamber of commerce building in the country!!! I’m so excited about it!
I think, in order to appreciate just how huge this is, you’d probably have to live in Waco (or in Texas). Let’s just say that Texans as a whole aren’t really big on the whole recycling, green living, taking care of the environment thing. Oh sure, we have a few people who have jumped on the bandwagon, but as a whole, it’s pretty shameful. I have NEVER had a client who was at all interested in implementing any green products, materials, or ideas in their home…aside from the little curly lightbulbs.
So anyway, let’s take a look:
*The council sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
- a 9′ x 24′ skylight that provides natural lighting;
- low-flow faucet, waterless urinals and dual-flush water closets, which can reduce water use by up to 30 percent;
- a shower available to employees who prefer to walk, run, or ride their bike to work as another energy-conservation measure;
- 48 photo voltaic solar panels to reduce the building’s electrical usage and reduce carbon emissions by more than 26,500 pounds; and
- low V.O.C. paint and carpet.
Wow! That’s quite a step for Waco, Texas. The Chamber of Commerce building was actually designed to meet LEED guidelines for Gold Certification. Again…WOW!!