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The "Green Factor"

Good news for advocates of green development. Seattle, WA becomes the first city to adapt a "green area ratio" or "green factor" as an effort to help sustainable living. This new ordinance will mandate that developers and designers find ways to implement more vegetation into there designs. The cities plan is modeled after similar programs in Berlin and Malmo, Sweden. Some options for designer and developers include vegetation walls, green roofs and rain-collection systems. Steve Moddemeyer, senior strategic advisor for the city's Department of Planning and Developing, says the green factor ratio requires landscaping to be "more than an aesthetic element. It actually is a functional part of an urban ecosystem." In addition, these policies have taken off and plans to build over $300 million mixed use projects are in the works.

Hopefully this trend will sweep the nation. Get involved in your local community and make a difference.

(ENR Magazine 3/10/08)