Claremont has developed a sustainability plan which looks at seven areas which effect the built environment and policies within the city. Goal area 4, Sustainable Built Environment seeks to improve the building standards within the city. The goal area addresses public(city) and private(community) standards which follow sustainable built practices set forth by LEED – US Green Building Council and CAL GREEN- California Green Building Standards Code. According to the Sustainable City Plan the city has created goal 4.1 City Facilities:
“Apply sustainable design and construction standards for all new and renovated City facilities. Implement best sustainable practices for operation and maintenance of existing City facilities and landscapes.” (Sustainable City Plan,2013)”
The goal has sub goals such as:
- 4.1.1 Obtain LEED Gold Certification for all new City buildings and major renovations
- 4.1.2 Complete a sustainability attainment report or checklist for City projects < $100,000
- 4.1.3 LEED accreditation and training for appropriate City staff
- 4.1.4 Attain LEED EB Silver Certification for City Yard facility
The City of Claremont respectively owns and operates twelve (12) facilities such as City Hall, Santa Fe Train Station, Police Department, and a Public Works yard. The city has made great efforts to preserve historic buildings such as the Santa Fe Station (1927) and City Hall (1951). The level of preservation accounts as a large effort to retain historic significance of these civic structures. The two structures listed above have undergone renovations that allows them to stay in use.
According to the city’s 2009 sustainability report card the city has followed through with one of the sub goals, and that was to have crucial city staff LEED accredited. This training is important for the staff to be educated in sustainable practices and obtaining projects that can be LEED certified. However, when one jumps ahead to the 2013 sustainability report card, the only mention of facilities that are seeking LEED and CAL GREEN certification are community buildings that belong to the colleges and private developers. There is mention of efforts to manage and conserve energy, waste, and water. However, there is nothing mention of the city’s efforts toward renovating city facilities or building new construction. The increase square footage of sustainable buildings in the city has reached a total square footage of 686,222. This number is a great accomplishment however, all of these buildings have been built for the colleges or for residential uses. At this moment in time the city has not alluded to new building facilities to be built.
However, the city of Claremont is seeking to improve the city through means of sustainable design, it is only right that the city shall look to other municipalities that have created action plans such as Claremont. The day may come that the city finds that there is a need to expand its current facilities, and thus there is a need for need sustainable development for new facilities. There are no current design guidelines set forth, but the LEED standards and Cal Green are stand in place, until those standards are created. When the Sustainable City Plan is compared to other documents such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide for Local Governments there is a similarity in goals and objectives. The city and the document seem to be on the right course to aligning with federal as well as state standards.