Massachusetts To Perform Life Cycle Planning Reviews For Climate Impacts

Anyone who has had involvement with municipal zoning and planning, or been in the real estate development business for that matter (architects included), will instantly recognize the importance of what the State of Massachusetts (USA) is proposing to do with major building projects. Via Boston Globe:- "In a major change to Massachusetts environmental policy, private developers will now be required to estimate the greenhouse gases their large-scale projects will produce and reduce them with measures such as energy-efficient lighting, alternative fuels, or commuter shuttles. Effective immediately, developers planning projects large enough to warrant a state environmental review will have to assess how the projects contribute to the pollution that leads to global warming,..." "State officials believe they will be the first in the nation to consider greenhouse gases as part of developers' environmental impact reviews." How to characterize? This level of planning review is to LEED, as a first time visit to an art museum would be for a budding painter, like a stock index to a broker, as an engineering degree would be to a bridge designer. Marry this analysis with LEED and and, for the first time ever, incremental cumulative impacts will be visible. Brilliant. Soon, we expect to read about some clever modelers who have integrated a computer model of the principle decision factors affecting carbon dioxide emissions with Google maps of development proposals. Inevitably carbon offsetting investment promises will be incorporated into modeled project proposals. Which will lead to controversy unless the offset projects accrue other non-carbon emission based local benefits. In other words no foreign offsetting. Image credit:- Aerial view of Boston, Penceland

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