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OCEAN is an online resources of the Building Codes Assistance Project. Here they provide a case study of the work happening in San Antonio. On March 12, 2009, the San Antonio City Council voted to approve and adopt a new Sustainable Buildings Ordinance that increases the energy efficiency of buildings by 15% more than the existing San Antonio and Texas state energy codes. This measure incorporated water conservation and other green building elements for all new construction, additions and substantial renovations in the city. The ordinance will make San Antonio the third major city to adopt advanced energy codes in Texas, joining Austin and Houston. The new ordinance will go into effect January 1, 2010, and mark a significant collaborative effort by many stakeholders.
This study examines equity and smart mobility in ten U.S. counties and their central cities to understand the extent that smart mobility services and assets are equitably available, and impact accessibility, employability, livability, and mobility. For this study, “equitable smart mobility” is defined as transportation systems that incorporate technology while increasing access to mobility options, enhancing opportunity in low-income communities of color, and supporting a clean environment.
Dallas’ regional economy is robust and growing yet is facing a crisis of economic inequality which corresponds with racial inequality. South Dallas, where the population is overwhelmingly people of color, suffers from high rates of poverty and unemployment and poor access to quality food. The current system of redevelopment in Dallas focuses on subsidizing growth downtown, where investment is already heavily concentrated. Low-income communities—like South Dallas—are getting left further and further behind. This report calls for the city to use its redevelopment authority to bring a high quality, full-service grocery store to South Dallas. Best practices would include a project labor agreement to ensure good wages and benefits for construction workers and a targeted hiring program to prioritize community workforce development.
This ordinance outlines workplace standards for construction employers. This ordinance requires that construction employers allot time for regular rest breaks for construction workers, which are particularly important due to the increased physical strain and increased risk of heat-related illnesses associated with construction labor. It guarantees that construction workers employed within the municipality are provided adequate rest breaks and establishes remediation processes for employers who deny construction employees a rest break.
This ordinance adopts the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code with 2001 supplement, mandating energy efficiency rates of 15% above current rates set by the city. The ordinance shall regulate the design and construction of new buildings, building additions, or level 3 alterations as defined in the International Existing Building Code 2006.
The ordinance establishes a Green Building Program with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. The program sets goals to be met in two phases, including: meeting a minimum standard of 15% less energy usage than current minimum standards and requiring high-efficiency installations to meet water reduction goals in phase 1; and requiring all proposed construction to be LEED-certified, implementation of certain water reduction strategies, and certain Energy Star compliance.
As construction activity in the southern United States continues to flourish, concern over workers’ health and safety grows. Economic hardships, few or no opportunities for career advancement, unstable work, injuries, and even death on the job are commonplace for construction workers in the South. This report examines the working conditions of 1,435 construction workers in six major cities in the southern U.S, in order to document the most critical issues facing construction workers in major construction markets and provide information to guide possible solutions.
This report examines Houston attitudes about flooding, education, the local economy, equal opportunity, immigration, sex and gender, climate change, and trust.
As cities look for solutions to help meet their increasingly aggressive clean energy targets and support their local economies, community solar is a growing opportunity. Community Solar is the distributed solar projects shared virtually by a number of subscribers in a community, typically through on-bill credits. For cities, community solar is a way to vastly increase the amount of locally generated renewable energy, along with associated benefits of local jobs, property tax revenue, and local community investment.
As San Antonio continues to grow, it has the opportunity to develop in such a way that residents can reduce the environmental impacts of travel, while also reducing household transportation costs. This report provides information on the combined housing and transportation (H+T) costs in the San Antonio metro area, demonstrating that these two household expenses are closely linked. In San Antonio, combined housing and transportation costs are higher away from the city center. While housing developments on the urban fringe take advantage of low land costs, transportation infrastructure makes car ownership a necessity. In contrast, both housing and transportation costs are lower in the compact neighborhoods closer to downtown, where residents can more easily get to jobs, shopping and amenities by transit and walking.