Philadelphia is already home to a number of notable green buildings, including new skyscrapers, renovated historic buildings, school buildings and row homes. During the first year of Greenworks, two laws were passed that advance green building practices in Philadelphia. The first law requires that all new construction and major renovations of large City government buildings meet Silver Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council. The second requires cool roofs that meet or exceed Energy Star cool roof standards on all new construction in the City. Both of these new laws represent the City’s commitment to promoting low-cost.
Energy efficiency and building retrofitting are a big part of making buildings green. Over the first year of Greenworks, hundreds of Philadelphia homes received energy audits and retrofits. Through the Greenworks Loan and Rebate Fund, $9 million in capital has been made available to help businesses finance energy-efficient building practices, materials, and equipment for major renovations and new construction projects. The Greenworks Loan Fund began with $9 million in capital, blending public and private funding streams.