A new bill, passed by the Philadelphia City Council will set requirements for new construction projects including on-site renewable energy, optimized energy performance, and sustainable materials. According to the article, "Many new city buildings currently need to achieve a silver-level certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system, but the bill raises that bar to LEED Gold." (Schmidt, 2021). I have never heard of LEED before, which just goes to show how many actors and organizations there are in regards to clean energy. LEED is based on a point system, and buildings are now required to receive 60 points instead of 50.
This bill is just one of many that the city is going to use in the hopes of achieving the goals set in their Climate Action Playbook. The headlining goal is to cut municipal carbon emissions 50% and source 100% clean energy for municipal operations by 2030. The city has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.
The bill also shifts management from the City Planning Commission to the Office of Sustainability. There are still concerns that the plan does not go far enough, as a building can still use natural gas for heating and achieve the 60 points needed for LEED gold. Also, due to COVID, a significantly lower number of construction projects are expected to be underway when these rules take effect.
Sophia Schmidt, 9 December 2022, "Philly’s next crop of city buildings will be greener under bill passed by Philly Council", contributed by Andrew Rosenthal, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 5 January 2022, accessed 1 March 2024. https://energyrights.info/content/philly’s-next-crop-city-buildings-will-be-greener-under-bill-passed-philly-council