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In 2000, Seattle, Washington, became the first U.S. city to officially adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Silver” standards for its own major construction projects. In the midst of a municipal building boom, it set new targets for building and remodeling to LEED guidelines. Its first LEED certified project, the Seattle Justice Center, was completed in 2002. The city is now home to one of the highest concentrations of LEED buildings in the world.
Building an Emerald City is the story of how Seattle transformed itself into a leader in sustainable “green” building, written by one of the principal figures in that transformation. It is both a personal account—filled with the experiences and insights of an insider—and a guide for anyone who wants to bring about similar changes in any city. It includes “best practice” models from municipalities across the nation, supplemented by the contributions of “guest authors” who offer stories and tips from their own experiences in other cities.

Intended as a “roadmap” for policy makers, public officials and representatives, large-scale builders and land developers, and green advocates of every stripe, Building an Emerald City is that rare book—one that is both inspirational and practical.

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