Going green could save builders some green of another sort.

Going green could save builders some green of another sort.

New Albany Village Council last week approved an ordinance that reduces building permit fees for construction or renovations that are environment-friendly.

"The ordinance is a green-building incentive program," Kathryn Meyer, deputy director of community development, told council. "It's a code that allows us to provide fee-reduction incentives."

Reductions range from 20 percent to 25 percent of building-permit application fees and would depend on how many standards are met.

The code passed by council includes 24 standards that touch on HVAC, lighting, plumbing, site environment, energy use, materials and other green ideas.

Many of the standards are in line with requirements provided by the U.S. Green Building Council for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

"The standards are based on LEED standards," Meyer said. "If you do meet LEED certification standards, you do have an additional percentage off building-permit fees."

In order to receive a reduction of permit fees, new construction must meet at least 12 of 24 standards and meet one standard in all seven categories. Renovations must meet at least three standards.

Standards include using Energy Star-rated appliances, natural light, solar panels, low-flow water fixtures and geothermal heating systems, purchasing green power and preserving trees.

Although the ordinance begins an incentive program, some council members asked if the village is doing enough to encourage builders to be green.

"I'm so supportive of the LEED buildings," council member Colleen Briscoe said. "I'm so supportive of making it a larger amount."

Briscoe said the reductions in fees would not offset the cost of green construction and pushed for a 50-percent reduction.

Jennifer Chrysler, director of community development, told council the development department could look at green construction on an individual basis for additional incentives.

"On one hand we would like to work with companies on a case-by-case basis to see what incentives we can offer," she said.

Council approved the ordinance in a 4-1 vote, with Glyde Marsh dissenting, but instructed the development department to look into other incentives to offer companies.