Fort Worth, TX April 28, 2008 – Environmentally sensitive construction practices are now Dallas law, as the City Council unanimously voted to implement numerous “green building” regulations.
This new ordinance requires that all new construction and building improvements placed into service in 2009 and beyond meet certain energy, water, roofing, and lighting efficiency thresholds. For instance, commercial buildings with less than 50,000 square feet will be required to be 15% more energy efficient and use 20% less water. Buildings with more than 50,000 square feet will be required to meet strict LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. Dallas’ efforts to mandate green building should serve as a model for other North Texas cities.
The benefits of building green are not just environmental. For business owners and developers, the 2005 Energy Policy Act created Section 179D which allows a significant federal tax deduction for the costs of installing certain energy efficient systems in commercial buildings. The tax deduction offers up to $1.80 per square foot for improving the energy efficiency of existing commercial buildings or designing high efficiency into new buildings. This specifically applies to commercial properties designed to significantly reduce heating, cooling, water heating, and interior lighting energy costs. The deduction also can apply to architects or engineers who design buildings for the City of Dallas. An Energy Efficiency Study can determine the total applicable tax deduction a building owner can qualify for.