California Launches First State Green Database in Country

The California Department of General Services has created and launched the first statewide green online database in the country, to catalog the greening of public buildings in the state. The database will make such information available to the public. Ken Hunt of California’s Department of General Services told CPN

The California Department of General Services has created and launched the first statewide green online database in the country, to catalog the greening of public buildings in the state. The database will make such information available to the public. Ken Hunt of California’s Department of General Services told CPN that the database which is 95 percent completed now, will further goals of California to make government open and accessible. “The goal for the database,” Hunt said, “is to provide an easy-to-use gateway to show the public, and the world… our portfolio of state owned facilities that are working to achieve Governor’s initiatives. It will show which buildings are pursuing green initiatives, which buildings are undergoing energy efficiency upgrades, and which buildings are going to have retro commissions. New York City has a pretty good database, [for this use] and San Francisco also, but there’s nothing statewide anywhere else that is like this.” The website uses GIS mapping technology. At the site a special map can be seen that uses state-of-the-art technological tools to highlight state-owned facilities that are in the process of following the Governor Schwarzenegger’s Green Building Initiative . This will help to further Schwarzenegger’s initiative and goals to save energy, conserve natural resources and decrease carbon footprint. Commercial buildings use 36 percent of the state’s electricity and account for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, raw materials use and waste. Now the public will be able to easily track the state’s progress in reducing the amount of electricity, water usage, natural gas and other resources used on a daily basis.Issued in December 2004, the green building order asks that state agencies reduce electricity used in state owned buildings by 20 percent by the year 2015, and is an inspiration for all other cities, counties and schools to do so as well. The State Initiative requires new construction to be built to meet all the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards. And the state’s larger existing public buildings (larger than 50,000 square feet) are also pursuing LEED certification for energy- and resource.