Philadelphia Adopts LEED Building Standards

“On Thursday, Dec. 10 our City Council voted 17-0 to pass Bill No. 080025. This measure will help to implement the Target 1 goal of Greenworks Philadelphia to reduce City government energy consumption by 30% by the Year 2015.”

The Bill is intended to be an effective tool for fostering integrated design and high-performance construction in major City building projects. The LEED-silver requirement applies to construction projects over 10,000 square feet that are primarily funded by City capital dollars and are controlled by the City. To emphasize energy efficiency, the ordinance requires that projects be designed and constructed to use at least 20% less energy than basic, code-compliant structures. The ordinance applies to capital projects undertaken by all departments and agencies across the City, including the Airport, Water Department, and Public Property,’ commented, Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia.

Amending Chapter 17-100 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Procurement Contracts,”by adding a new Section, providing that any contract for the construction, extension or major renovation of certain buildings, paid for with public funds, contain a provision requiring the contractor to certify that a certain level in energy and design efficiency will be achieved, in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System, or that equivalent standards will be met, requiring LEED certified professionals, and by providing for penalties, all under certain terms and conditions.

The Amendment was presented by Councilman Reynolds Brown.

To become The Greenest City in America,That’s the ambitious goal that Mayor Michael A. Nutter has set for Philadelphia.

Reaching it will be an opportunity to reposition and repurpose Philadelphia as a city of the future. For the first time in decades, changes beyond our borders—primarily rising energy prices, but also climate change and an emerging green economy—are increasing the value of our urban assets. Philadelphia’s dense and durable stock of housing, infrastructure and amenities position us to prosper in a carbon-constrained future.

Cities have always been associated with power. Today, however, in a world of rising energy prices and uncertainty around future supply, cities that can lower their energy consumption will have an enormous advantage in the competition for residents and investment. Greenworks Philadelphia therefore has placed increasing energy efficiency and cultivating renewable energy sources at the center of its sustainability strategy. Such efforts will lead to a decreased dependence on carbon-based energy sources; personal and commercial financial savings; and the creation of new businesses and new jobs.

With Greenworks Philadelphia as its guide, 21st century Philadelphia will face the challenges and opportunities created by recent global shifts and reposition itself as a city of the future.

To download the bill and an Executive Summary for Greenworks, go to

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