Legalizing Green Design

Across America, arcane zoning regulations and building codes prevent some of the most promising sustainable techniques and technologies from being built. A project based in Oregon aims to make land use regulations friendlier for greener building.

Michael Coren writes about the ReCode project, an initiative run by around 50 volunteers that, "works to legalize sustainable practices for our built environment through mobilizing the grassroots to work directly with regulators to transform codes and regulations."

Born out of Tryon Life Community Farm's frustrations in "trying to demonstrate innovative environmentally conscious design in Portland," ReCode has used a rigorous process to legalize green design one regulation at a time. "Their successes so far (since 2007) include legalizing graywater reuse, site-built composting toilets, and broadening the number of manufactured composting toilets permitted for use in Oregon," notes Coren.

As he points out, such efforts aren't limited to the Pacific Northwest. "Cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and New York are clearing away old codes to make way for new urban farms and renewable energy."

 

Full Story: Your Green Dream House Might Be Illegal

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