Future state facilities must meet "green building" standards under a new law Gov. Linda Lingle signed in May, which is a crucial element in her "Lead the Way" energy strategy for Hawai`i.
All state agencies must now "lead-by-example" in designing and constructing buildings to meet LEED "Silver" certification, as the state trys to meet its own goals for energy efficiency and conservation.
Lingle notes that staying on Hawaii's current development path is like saying to future generations:
"Well, you're just on your own. Hope it all works out in the end".
While applauding the state's moves, one of the islands' leading "green" builders, Everett Dowling of Dowling Company Inc., notes that it may take some time for the left hand to synch with the right hand, citing lack of incentives for water catchment systems as one example.
Turns out, much of the islands' development approval process will need to catch up with "green" innovation. It's still difficult to get permits for catchment systems, says Dowling, and counties still charge water fees as if there were no catchment system or conservation measures in place.