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A New Commitment to the Environment

Remarks of Mayor Bill Bogaard
Pasadena’s Green Building Program
October 20, 2005


The City has launched a new program, Pasadena’s Green Building Program, which promotes and in some cases requires building design and construction approaches that protect the environment. The opening event occurred in the City of Pasadena’s Permit Center, with a large number of interested community members in attendance. The Mayor offered an opening statement.



I am delighted to join with City Manager, Cynthia Kurtz, in the launching of the Green Building Program. This new approach proposes guidelines, incentives, and educational efforts that promote environmental stewardship in the City’s approach to new building design and construction, and home remodeling.

Pasadena is known around the world for its arts and culture, its architecture and its rich history, the legendary Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses. In the months ahead, as the Green Building Program is fully developed, Pasadena can claim a new role as a model of environmental protection.

“Green Building” is a relatively new term that relates to land use, building design and construction strategies that reduce impacts on the environment. Green buildings minimize waste of natural resources, use recycled materials, reduce the amount of debris in local landfills, incorporate water and energy conservation, decrease pollution, and offer healthier air and lighting for the occupants.

In years past, “green” approaches accounted for only a fraction of construction activities. Now, the green market is expanding into the mainstream and may well surpass traditional construction techniques within a decade.

This new approach is not the City’s only commitment to environmental protection in City planning, design, and construction. In fact, this program complements our approach in many other policies, such as our Central District Specific Plan which encourages so-called “smart growth”—projects that are located within walking distance or a short drive of mass transit, shopping opportunities, restaurants, museums, jobs, movies, and schools. Pasadena already requires that the debris from construction be recycled to the fullest practical extent, instead of simply being transported to local landfills. Our zoning code requires environmentally sound landscaping, it protects trees, and it calls for pedestrian amenities in attractive public spaces and appropriate walkways.

But Pasadena’s record as a progressive City is long, and this program offers the opportunity once again to offer leadership.

Pasadena’s commitment to the environment dates back, as Sue Mossman of Pasadena Heritage reminded, to the environmentally friendly design features of Greene & Greene architecture. Greene & Greene houses have French doors, many windows, large porches covered by extended roofs, as well as roof overhangs around the house. These features all accommodate comfortable temperatures during hot weather and good circulation in the interior of the house, making Greene & Greene houses extremely livable—and environmentally sensitive—in our southern California climate.

As this program is launched, Pasadena already has two projects that have recently been certified as “green” under the U.S. Building Council’s program called Local Energy & Environmental Design, or “LEED”. One is Art Center’s new South Campus, and the other is the Tri-Com building in east Pasadena.

Let me offer a few details about Art Center’s project. The South Campus building adaptively re-uses the Southern California Cooperative Wind Tunnel, which dates from the World War II era, a massive structure originally designed to test airplane aerodynamics. It now houses the graduate art program, an expanded exhibition function, the Archetype Press, and the headquarters for Art Center’s growing public education program.

The many sustainable design strategies of the building are highlighted by the green and low-emissivity roof, an advanced skylight design, and a careful reuse approach that delivers daylight to art studios and exhibition spaces.

The Tri-Com building offering commercial office space was completed less than a year ago. The City benefits from the developer’s commitment to follow green building design and construction techniques in a manner that achieved certification under the LEED program.

Public interest in green construction is growing at a fast rate, with customers creating a surge in demand for green buildings. As developers and architects become more familiar with the financial costs and benefits of green buildings, they are achieving ways to earn profits from a building’s reduced environmental impact and more efficient operating costs.

The effort that is launched tonight is the product of a dedicated effort involving City staff professionals—the Green Working Team—outside professionals, and a Green Ribbon Committee. The members of this committee—architects, landscape specialists, construction specialists, developers, and planners are identified tonight by the green ribbons attached to their name tags. We owe these 15 persons a debt of gratitude for their help in putting the green building program on the right foundation.

In closing, I want to quote an expert who well describes the goals of this initiative.

“Effectively and efficiently using our resources means more
for future generations, as well as creating healthy indoor
environments. The Green Building Program represents one
of Pasadena’s efforts in exploring avenues to increase
environmental stewardship.”

These words come from the Green Building Project Manager, Alice Sterling, to whom I extend congratulations and thanks.  

Posted: 10/20/2005 08:55:00 AM