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Connecticut Environmental Jobs Get Help from Green State Regulations

Posted on January 27, 2009

Those concerned about increasing the number of Connecticut environmental jobs may soon get some help.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell recently announced that the State of Connecticut has finalized a comprehensive list of regulations for the construction and renovation of state-owned buildings and public schools. The regulations will help create more green collar jobs and reduce the facilities’ energy consumption and costs.

“We are building a cleaner, greener future for all of Connecticut,” Rell said in a press release. “These strict standards will lead to a new generation of energy efficient ‘green’ buildings, and ultimately reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. Our children, grandchildren and generations beyond will benefit from the stewardship that we commit to today.”

The proposed regulations include:

  • buildings be designed to be 21 percent more energy efficient than the current state building code
  • use of low-flow fixtures to consume 20 percent less water
  • appliances comply with Energy Star standards
  • use of indoor adhesives and paints low in volatile organic compound emissions
  • use of captured rainwater, recycled wastewater and drought resistant plants to cut landscaping water use by 50 percent
  • at least 10 percent of building materials be manufactured within 500 miles of construction site
  • selection of a site with access to public transportation
  • reuse of sites defined as brownfields
  • The regulations, which are part of a recently approved energy legislation, apply to new construction that costs $5 million or more and renovations that cost $2 million or more. The regulations must now be approved by the Legislature’s Regulations and Review Committee.

    “With each green building we erect and renovate we are preserving and protecting the environment and at the same time creating the specially skilled workforce of the future,” Rell added. “These green collar jobs are essential to our economic and environmental health.”

    All the regulations are in accordance with the LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The rating system encourages environmental integrity, energy efficiency, healthy work spaces and sustainable building practices.