Do you have to get a special permit to build green?

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Author's Note

In my work as a journalist, I've covered a number of residential and commercial construction projects that have been built with an eye toward sustainability or LEED certification. And, because I grew up on a working farm with a family who was (and is) concerned about soil, water and energy conservation, I witnessed many green practices first hand. The two-story farmhouse I lived in, for instance, was heated by solar panels (before solar panels were cool.)

That said, I've never actually embarked on a green construction project as an adult, so I didn't know the first thing about permits. I was surprised to learn that green building projects don't require a different set of certifications. They do, however, require a dedicated set of professionals who can build them to the exacting standards needed to obtain green certification by a reputable rating system. One thing I know for sure? If I ever embark on a green building project, I'll seek the counsel of a sustainability experienced architect and general contractor.

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  • Greensburg Greentown. "Background." (Feb. 23, 2012)
  • Kruger, Abe. Personal interview. Feb. 23, 2012.
  • Lovett, Richard. "How Kansas Tornado Became a Monster." National Geographic. May 8, 2007. (Feb. 23, 2012)
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  • Samuel, Stan. Personal interview. Feb. 23, 2012.
  • van der Linden, Ted. Personal interview. Feb. 23, 2012.

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