There's Not Enough Green to Implement Phase 2 of Dallas's Green Building Ordinance

No doubt you remember well the glory days of December 2007, which is when the city of Dallas convened its Green Building Task Force consisting of real estaters (including The Real Estate Council) and city staffers with the intention of rewriting the City Code to pave the way for happier, healthier buildings. There were, of course, a few public forums on the subject, as the city looked to make "a smooth transition to green building practices," and it didn't take long for the task force to turn its recommendations, which the city council, then headed by Tom the Builder, passed with ease.

On the to-do list: Implement Phase 1 by October '09, which meant focusing on "energy efficiency and water conservation requirements for all residential and commercial developments," then roll out Phase 2 this October, which meant implementing "a comprehensive green building standard for all new construction."

But at the end of last November, the city reconvened the Green Building Task Force to see how everything was going, which meant, among other things, taking a long, hard look at the permitting process, accessing the workload of already over-tasked building inspection staffers and reviewing the viability of a Phase 2 roll-out come fall. At which point the task force discovered "building inspection staff is challenged with current staffing levels and workload" and that the "economic climate is not conducive to placing additional burdens on the construction industry."

That's according to a heads-up from the city in advance of a 1:30 p.m. public forum scheduled today in the L1F Auditorium at Dallas City Hall. The doc says the city will need to delay Phase 2 implementation for another year -- till October 2012, at least. Not only that, but the task force also suggests refining "the permitting and inspections process by implementing 3rd Party for green code plan review and inspection." City Manager Mary Suhm will explain what this means to the council next month.

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