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Development Projects Try Out New Environmental Standards

Two development projects near Capitol Hill will participate in a pilot program of a new rating system for environmentally friendly neighborhood design.

The U.S. Green Building Council currently rates only buildings, awarding them with a “silver” or “gold” rating depending on their green building practices. But now the council wants to devise a national system for rating development projects based on neighborhood location, design and construction.

The Southwest Waterfront and the Hill East Waterfront projects — which are now controlled by the quasi-public Anacostia Waterfront Corp. — will give feedback on the program, called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development. When the ratings are finished in 2009, the council hopes they will “serve as an incentive for better location, design, and construction of new residential, commercial, and mixed use developments,” according to a draft of the pilot program.

The AWC board of directors passed environmental standards Friday that would require developers to follow some of the practices in the pilot program. The City Council voted to dissolve the AWC by October, but the city will keep the standards in place.

— Emily Yehle

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