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County of Sonoma

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2010

County Adopts Green Building Policy

Policy reflects Board commitment to climate protection and a higher standard for government facilities.

Santa Rosa, California (March 30, 2010) - The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted a Green Building Policy for County owned facilities as part of the Board’s ongoing efforts save taxpayer dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy and water cost savings. This action requires the County to comply with higher standards than the Green Building Ordinance which was adopted for private development in unincorporated Sonoma County.

Chairwoman Valerie Brown commented, “This is great work in the right direction. Green buildings are a major element in achieving our climate protection goals. In this fiscal climate, this policy makes good economic sense. It will save the County and the taxpayer’s scarce dollars for vital services and hold ourselves to a higher environmental standard. The Green Building Policy reduces our energy and water use, our green house gas emissions and provides a healthier environment for those using the buildings. We need to lead by example and with this policy, we are.”

Creating and operating “green buildings” involves the application of a system wide approach to design, construct, and operate buildings to reduce energy use, waste generation, and the use of natural resources, while at the same time providing a healthier interior environment for building occupants and lower ongoing maintenance and operation costs. The proposed Green Building Policy establishes standards and requirements for County construction projects that exceed those requirements placed on private sector development and green building policies adopted by many other governmental agencies.

The adopted policy was developed through a collaborative process that brought together many different county departments under the leadership of the General Services Department. General Services Director, Jose Obregon, stated, “The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council is used as the basis for the Policy and for the County’s Green Building Ordinance. Sonoma County’s Policy sets higher thresholds for government projects. It applies to renovation and remodeling projects as well as new construction. It truly is groundbreaking.”

L.E.E.D. certification is the recognized standard of the industry for this sustainable construction, “green building,” policy. Over 80 U.S. government entities use L.E.E.D. as the basis for their green building policies and the standards cover a comprehensive range of building aspects and environmental issues including: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design. Chairwoman Brown further commented, “The Board and County will continue to pursue every effort to achieve a sustainable community both environmentally and financially. This Policy shows that we are walking our talk and asking more of ourselves than we ask of others.”

About the County of Sonoma

The County of Sonoma is comprised of 26 departments and agencies that provide a full range of services to the community. It encompasses over 1,600 square miles and is home to more than 475,000 residents. Sonoma County government has a history of providing excellent and responsive public service while operating under sound fiscal principles.

Located less than one hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma County combines in one location the beautiful Pacific coastline, award-winning wineries, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities.

Contact Information

Community and Governmental Affairs Manager
County Administrator’s Office
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104 A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-2190 Work
(707) 565-3778 Work Fax
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The information set forth on this page has been furnished by the County of Sonoma and includes information obtained from other sources, which are believed to be reliable. Any statement involving matters of opinion or estimates, whether or not so expressly stated, is set forth as such and not as Representation of fact, and no representation is made that such opinion or estimates will be realized. The information and expressions of opinion contained herein are updated periodically and are subject to change without notice, and shall not, under any circumstances, create any implication that there has been no change in the affairs of the County or in the other matters described therein between updates.