January 20, 2011: Meeting with EKU Class

The Spring 2011 “GEO 325: Land Use and Environmental Planning” class at Eastern Kentucky University will be working with our community group and the Madison County Planning Commission to develop a set of recommended “Green Planning Codes” that will promote such things as:

  • alternative building technologies that reduce or eliminate energy use. promote water conservation and protection, reduce wastewater generation and stormwater runoff, and employ reclaimed or innovative building materials
  • pedestrian and bicycle transport
  • development of appropriate-scale alternative energy such as solar panels, wind power, and geothermal power for both residential and commercial uses
  • local food production and farmland preservation
  • conservation and preservation of greenspaces
  • protection of waterways and riparian areas


We presented on overview of the history of our group to the class and gave them the provisions we hoped would be integrated into a final version of green building codes for Madison County. The wish list includes:

  1. An encouragement of collaboration:
    1. Between government regulators and the people it most directly affects. For example, a provision for experimental building where codes’ enforcement might allow alternative building practices in exchange for sharing data on the viability of this technique in Madison County.
    2. Between neighbors who want to share common resources like small scale energy production (shared photovoltaic system) and waste water treatment (shared wetlands).
  2. Codes would be outcome based. For example, a subdivision development must maintain or develop “x” percentage of carbon carrying capacity per acre of land and/or it must protect waterways and create riparian barriers up to “y” standards.
  3. Incentivize green development rather than making it difficult. For example, having a green building scoring system where builders who obtain a high score are allowed fee and/or other code exemptions.
  4.  Provisions for experimentation. ( For example, an experimental green building code might meet International Green Codes rather than having to use specific building products or techniques ie: looking at the efficiency of the entire thermal envelope rather than having to place insulation that meets specific R values in specific places).
  5. On-site sourcing of water (rain water collections in cisterns), waste water (compost toilets and greywater garden) and electricity (photovoltaic system).

About greenbuildingcodes

I live on a ridge top in the Curtis Pike Intentional Community in Madison County Kentucky. For the past year and a half, we have been working with our county planning and zoning board to encourage the development and expansion of sustainable building projects in Madison County.
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