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VPIS Supports City LEED Program

                                                July 18, 2012
Mayor Nader Baroukh
City Hall
City of Falls Church
Falls Church, Va.  22046

Dear Mayor Baroukh:  

The Board of the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) supports the effort by the City Council and staff to assure that future City investments in public buildings will meet the high standards of the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. 

VPIS has a long-standing commitment to improving the natural environment in the City and to supporting development that minimizes environmental impacts.  In 2009, VPIS adopted "Five Environmental Goals for the City of Falls Church" (see www.vpis.org).   One of these five goals is to "Promote Building Environmental Standards".   

We believe that well-designed buildings play a critical role in promoting the environmental sustainability of local communities.  Buildings that meet LEED standards contribute to the local environment by better managing stormwater, using less public water, and reducing greenhouse gases by requiring less energy for operations and transportation.  Further, features such as green roofs often provide superior aesthetics.  Building occupants benefit from higher indoor air quality and better exposure to sunlight and we as taxpayers pay lower energy and water utility charges.  

By stating a clear commitment to meeting high standards under the LEED program in its public building projects, the City would be joining other area communities, including Arlington County and the District of Columbia, in making building investments that make sense in both environmental and economic terms.  As City officials and residents experience the many benefits of public buildings built to LEED standards, there will be a growing recognition of the value of these standards for commercial as well as public buildings.  In the "Five Environmental Goals for Falls Church," VPIS encouraged the City to require all large, new commercial construction to meet LEED ratings and to adopt incentives to encourage wider adoption of LEED ratings for existing commercial and residential buildings.  We believe that adopting LEED standards for new public buildings is an important step to these larger goals. 

Thank you for your work on this important matter. 

                                                Michael Volpe


Falls Church City Council
Falls Church City Planning Commission
Falls Church City Manager


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Village Preservation and Improvement Society
P.O. Box 6824, Falls Church, Virginia 22040