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  • In addition to incentivizing the market, governments can endorse a green building certification system such as EDGE.

What popular incentives can governments put into place that encourage green development?

Governments can adopt from a wide variety of incentives – some of which are cost-free – to stimulate green building growth. Depending on the level of ambition, the development of an entire green building value chain can be triggered with benefits that trickle down to user reality. Outcomes include a start-up market of green-tech products and services, protection of the under-privileged from utility shocks, conservation of natural resources and establishing a healthier and more socially uplifting environment.

Tax incentives, density bonuses and expedited permitting are among the most effective ways to make green design economically viable for developers. But there are other options as well.

In addition to incentivizing the market, governments can endorse a green building certification system such as EDGE. This sends a signal to developers that there is an authorized system on the market that recognizes the creation of citizenship products.

10 Ways to Encourage Green Building Growth

  1. Tax Incentives – Offer a tax credit to developers on a square meter basis to offset the extra costs of building green, or to homeowners for buying a green home.
  2. Bonus Density for Height or Floor Area – Allow developers to increase the height of their building or floor area if their projects are certified green.
  3. Expedited Permitting – Limit the permitting process to a minimum number of days for green construction.
  4. Reduced Permitting – Waive or partially reimburse permit fees for developers who build green projects.
  5. Grants – Incentivize solutions such as solar power by providing block grants to cities and states. Or grants can go directly to developers to subsidize the costs of certification.
  6. Loan Programs – Set up a loan fund so developers who build green can receive reduced interest rates.
  7. Technical Assistance – Train planners, building inspectors and other government staff how to audit green building design. The EDGE technical team can help.
  8. Net Metering – Work with utility companies to enable building owners to generate renewable energy to the grid, to help develop a clean energy industry.
  9. Public Campaigns – Generate public support through advocacy efforts. Work with utility companies to track results and communicate successes to the public.
  10. Green Building Legislation – Bundle a certification standard directly into a new set of green building codes.

“We need more than the creativity of architects – we need a dynamic effort to transform the market.”

– Prashant Kapoor, Principal Green Building Specialist & Inventor of EDGE, IFC