In a time of rising energy costs and concerns with climate change, the city of Farmington Hills has decided to become a part of the solution of global warming instead of being part of the problem.
The city of Farmington Hills believes that sustainability is especially important for the present. Buildings in the United States currently account for 12 percent of water use, 71 percent of electricity consumption, 65 percent of waste output and 32 percent of CO2 emissions, according to the city’s Web site.
Because the city recognizes these negative effects caused by buildings, it has initiated a City Hall Revitalization Project, which will not only help the environment but also the economy. It is estimated that the project will create 30-50 full time construction-related jobs over a 12-18 month time period.
The goal of the project is to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for city hall. LEED certification is awarded to buildings that meet the highest standards in energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable building practices.
The project is expected to cost between $7 and $8 million, which includes two major anticipated savings totals over 20 years. The city plans to save more than $1.4 million on energy efficiency and over $8 million on operational efficiency. The project will also provide a return on investment in fewer than 20 years.
Due to the current financial climate, the city of Farmington Hills ensures that they have an exceptional opportunity to begin the revitalization of city hall. Funding for the project has been saved over several years, which results in no financing, bonding or increased taxes whatsoever to pay for the project. In addition, the city expects that project bids will be favorable and material costs will be lower than they have been in the past.
City Manager Steve Brock said the project should be complete in late October 2010. For more information, visit http://www.fhgov.com/SustainableWeb/ProgramsProjects/CityHallRevitalization.asp.
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.