Environmentally friendly buildings can include simple design elements such as abundant natural light -- which can save energy by minimizing the need for artificial light. They can feature windows that open to allow in fresh air, unlike those in most office buildings. Low-emitting carpet and paint can be used to improve indoor air quality.
Green buildings are likely to be equipped with low-flow water fixtures and even, perhaps, no-flush urinals, which use a chemical trap instead of water, Moore said.
Builders can also earn points by recycling materials. Carpet, for instance, is typically replaced in a building every seven years and lasts 20,000 years in a landfill, Moore said. But it can be recycled by shaving the nylon off the top and reusing the backing, she said.
Mayor Williams is expected to sign the bill. You can learn more by visiting the U.S. Green Building Council.