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Green. Green. Green. It’s always greener in spring. The strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are all coming out, grass emerges from beneath the snow and flowers stretch towards the sun. It’s nice outside. But the plants weren’t the only green thing this spring. According to the Associated General Contractors of America green construction rating systems and standards have risen over the past couple months thanks to initiatives like Green Garage Certification and Living Future Challenges. We’ve broken down and detailed a few of the green developments below. Feel free to check them out, get some ideas and look for similar developments in your own community.

Green Garage Certification – This one comes straight from the Green Parking Council. If you’re wondering what that is don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The GPC is a collaborative effort by over 200 parking industry professionals to define the future of parking through clean energy and smart grid technology. Garages will serve as hubs for car sharing and intermodality while also providing drivers with power from solar and wind energy. It costs me almost $70 dollars to fill the tank on my Wrangler. I think it’s time for a more sustainable future (or at least a more sustainable car). Check out their website for more info.

Sustainable SITES – My grandpa serves on the town planning board for a tiny little town of 3,000 people and, from his stories, it sounds like those meetings can get pretty volatile. I can’t even fathom what a development meeting in one of the Five Boroughs would be like. Land, and developing land, has always been an issue for us. And today with a global population close to 7 billion people, every step we take to develop land must be carefully considered in order to preserve that land for future generations. The plans, design, development and maintenance of that land is SITES ultimate concern. Their tools and rating system give developers a better idea of what sites are best suited for sustainable development and what developers can do to build sustainably. For more information about SITES feel free to click on this link.

The International Living Future Institute – The ILFI is the home of the legendary Living Building Challenge (it hasn’t quite become legendary yet but it certainly is groundbreaking). With its seven performance categories (Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty) the organization helps planners and developers design sustainable community projects. Check out their website here for more info.

The times are a changing for developers and contractors all around as we head towards a greener and more independent future. Here’s to green energy!