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The goal of the Charleston Green Business Challenge is to improve the environmental performance and sustainability of our businesses. Save Money and Resource, Support Environmental Stewardship, and Get Recognized as a Sustainable Business Leader.

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Better Buildings


Summary and Update

How we construct, preserve, renovate, adapt and use buildings has an enormous impact on our economy, our health and the environment.  In Charleston, buildings and related energy use account for 58% of our energy consumption and the resultant greenhouse gas emissions.  Energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings are largely untapped resource that can help solve many of the issues we face today with job creation, health care and environmental stewardship. 

Charleston is uniquely positioned to be, not only a local leader, but a national and international leader in sustainable building preservation, design, construction and operation.  With more than 3000 existing historic structures in the City, historic buildings contribute to the City’s cultural legacy and charm celebrated throughout the nation and the world. Many of the construction practices used in the past, such as appropriate building orientation on the property, the use of local and durable building materials, providing natural ventilation and achieving good day lighting are now principles considered sustainable or “green”.  Therefore it is fitting that Charleston take a leadership role in developing best practices that will integrate the best of historic preservation standards with the best of modern sustainable standards.

The Charleston Green Plan recommends the following actions be taken with respect to Charleston’s built environment:

  1. Require new City-owned buildings and renovations to non-historic existing city owned buildings to be sustainable
  2. Require modification to historic City-owned to follow current best practices with regard to integrating historic preservation with modern sustainable practices
  3. Encourage private sector to adopt voluntary sustainable building practices
  4. Encourage disclosure of utility data and building performance
  5. Develop a weatherization program
  6. Help increase financing options
  7. Focus on public outreach

The City has already made significant commitments in this area.  The City owns or operates over 200 facilities totaling roughly 2.5 million square feet.  Improvements in lighting, plumbing and water efficiency now save the city nearly $600,000 per year.  In 2008, City Council approved a resolution saying that all new construction on municipal buildings achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  LEED is an international building performance rating system that covers every aspect of building design, construction, operation and maintenance.

To read the detailed recommendations for the Better Buildings Section of the Charleston Green Plan, click here.

If you would like to get involved with the Buildings Subcommittee, please contact Dennis Knight at dknight@liollio.com.


» AIA Presentation to Green Committee - 11_13_07

» USGBSC Presentation to Green Committee - 11_13_07

» Meeting Minutes 1_29_08

» Meeting Minutes 2_12_08

» Building Subcommittee Minutes September

» List of Measures Building

» Building Codes Fact Sheet

» Building Codes Final

» Building Codes Bill Explanation

» SCEO Summary IECC Residential Energy Requirements



» AIA Local Leaders in Sustainability Guideline

» The Green Playbook

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