Evanston’s Environment Board and city staffers are exploring a proposal to require that new buildings in Evanston meet environmental certification standards.

Research by city staffers suggest that such a requirement could add from 1.5 to 7 percent to the cost of new buildings, but that costs would likely decline to the low end of that range once contractors became accustomed to the rules.

The United States Green Building Council‘s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program considers many construction and design factors.

Builders, for example, can gain points for building on already disturbed land, using energy efficient heating systems and improving indoor air quality.

The subject is scheduled for further discussion at Thursday night’s meeting of the environmental activist group Evanston’s Energy Future.

Developers of several new construction projects in Evanston, ranging from the Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue to the Winthrop Club condominium complex, have pledged to seek LEED certification for their projects.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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