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Monday, 24 August 2015 15:41

Grand Rapids goes from "Dying" to Emerging

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It wasn't too long ago that posted on their website that Grand Rapids was one of "America's Dying Cities". The article also ran on and got a lot of attention from Grand Rapidians (yes that's what we call ourselves). Four years after that was published, Grand Rapids is now considered an "Emerging District". Grand Rapids, like Mark Twain, can say "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."


Reports of my deaths....

Grand Rapids leaders in the public and private sector met this past March celebrate first steps towards the establishment of a Grand Rapids 2030 District. The 2030 district is a collaborative initiative between businesses and city government, joining together to improve building performance and energy efficiency within the area.


What is 2030 District?


2030 District is a grassroots initiative encouraging collaboration between private and public sector organizations in an effort to reduce energy consumption, water usage, and vehicle emissions. These private-public partnerships establish shared goals involving existing buildings as well as new construction.


Who Founded 2030 Districts?


The 2030 District initiative is the product of the Seattle-based, research non-profit organization Architecture 2030. Grand Rapids is part of a greater national network of 16 cities who have established or plan to establish a 2030 District.


How are these Partnerships Beneficial For The City?


According to the 2030 Districts website, “2030 Districts® are unique private/ public partnerships that bring property owners and managers together with local governments, businesses, and community stakeholders to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources.”


Who is involved in Grand Rapids 2030?


At his 2015 State of the City Speech, Mayor Hartwell laid out the goal for Grand Rapids to become a 2030 district. Joining him was the Founder of Architecture 2030, Ed Mazria and the President of the Institute of Energy Management, Dan Scripps. Members participating range from construction companies, residential developments, utilities, schools, hospitals, and public sector organizations. As for facilitators, partners include Institute for Energy Innovation, the West Michigan Chapter of the US Green Building Council, and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.


What Goals Are Set For The City?


According to the Wege Foundation the targets are:

  • “For existing buildings, a 50 percent reduction in energy use across the district by 2030 compared to a 2003 national benchmark of similar buildings, as well as 50 percent reductions in water use and emissions from transportation.”

  • “For new buildings and major renovations, an immediate reduction in building energy use by 50 percent compared to the 2003 national benchmark, with additional targets getting to net-zero energy use by 2030. New buildings also seek to immediately reduce their water use and transportation emissions by 50 percent when compared to the current district average.”

What is the Business Case for a 2030 District in Grand Rapids?


Grand Rapids is known around the country for sustainable building and another title to show for that could help stimulate our economy. Not to mention the increased profitability for businesses within energy efficient buildings. The 2030 District is very focused on the community thriving.


Long term, Grand Rapids will see an improved quality of life due to the protection of our clean water, air, and soil. As a result, Grand Rapids will continue to grow as a comfortable place to live and work.


How Can Your Company Improve Building Performance?


The reason 2030 Districts put such a focus on building performance for reasons such as more comfortable buildings, lower energy bills, and decreased environmental impacts. However, you don’t have to be a part of a 2030 District to improve your building performance and sustainability. This can be a win-win for your company; Save money and help Grand Rapids to become an elite city in our country. Building Performance Team offers a range of services for businesses looking to optimize their buildings and save money. Contact BPT today for a free consultation.


Read 1945 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 13:54

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