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:
- An encouragement of collaboration:
- 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.
- Between neighbors who want to share common resources like small scale energy production (shared photovoltaic system) and waste water treatment (shared wetlands).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- On-site sourcing of water (rain water collections in cisterns), waste water (compost toilets and greywater garden) and electricity (photovoltaic system).