WASHINGTON - The number of cities in the United States with green building programs has increased 50 percent in two years, according to a survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Green buildings generally include energy-efficient designs and other sustainable features. Among the findings from AIA, 138 cities have green building programs, compared with 92 cities in 2007, and 24 of the 25 most populated metropolitan regions are built around cities with a green building policy. The new report, “Green Building Policy in a Changing Economic Environment,” is an inventory of policies and best practices intended to help policymakers advance a more sustainable agenda for growth and development. The report also includes detailed case studies of the green building programs in Boston, Grand Rapids, Mich., Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., and Philadelphia.

The report also notes that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is providing “an unprecedented opportunity for the advancement of green building and sustainability efforts in our nation’s cities.”

For a copy of the AIA report, go to www.aia.org/advocacy/local/AIAB081637?dvid=&recspec=AIAB081637.

Publication date:12/21/2009