|DEP Building on Main|
But, although picking up trash and tidying up is important for the image of our town, it isn't all that Earth Day is about. Merely removing litter isn't going to help the climate change problem. Today, I'm going to highlight what IS being done in Norristown to help the planet.
Two office buildings in town have LEED Green Building Certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. To obtain the certification, a building design must pass strict requirements for energy and water use.
|Green roof at the DEP|
Remember, USM's building was originally a department store, first Sears, the Ports Of The World, then it sat empty for a long time, then we were told it was going to be a film studio in what lots of people think of as one of the greatest scams the county and borough ever fell for. We're still paying for it.
|USM's Green Roof|
It's worth noting that USM reused an old store, adding some features for architectural interest to what otherwise was a rather plain, drab building. That's a much greener solution that demolishing a building and putting up new construction on the same spot. The same could be done with Montgomery Hospital, instead of the wasteful plan Einstein and Elon have proposed, not to mention the trade-down in architectural quality.
Could we do more to make Norristown the sustainability capital of Montgomery County? Of course we could. What about incentives for developers who incorporate green building technologies into their plans?
The Municipality's expenditures for liquid fuel have been running about $22,000 per month. Surely we could come up with some more sustainable strategies to reduce that cost, couldn't we?
I do know that at least 2 of our council members bike to work. Olivia Brady has some good ideas about establishing bike lanes through our alleys for safety. We ought to have an Environmental Town Hall, to discuss solutions like this.
What do you think?