At Home with Nature: Early Reflections on Green Building Laws and the Transformation of the Built Environment
Keith H. Hirokawa
Albany Law School
October 12, 2012
Environmental Law, Vol. 39, No. 3, p. 507 (2009)
Albany Law School Research Paper No. 14 of 2009
Green building, which was formalized only fifteen years ago to promote healthier and more efficient building practices, has exceeded virtually all predictions of its potential. Green building has entered markets in almost every major city in the United States, while developing as a sophisticated basis for investment, human health, and conservation. Stated otherwise, green building is no longer a fringe environmental policy and, as argued in this Article, is even shedding its markings as a political ideology.
This Article examines two parallel but distinct consequences of the green building movement. First, by considering the major challenges to green building, this Article examines the conditions for success of the movement – how green building has become acceptable to consumers, the construction industry, and building regulators. Second, this Article explores the relationship between the goals and methods of green building laws and argues that green building compels a transformative, constructivist effect on humans’ place and position in nature. This Article ultimately argues that green building is special because of its pluralistic approach to regulation, ethics, and even to nature itself.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 71
Keywords: environment, environmental law, green building, alternative energy, environmental policy, nature, pluralistic, constructivist, transformativeAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 4, 2009 ; Last revised: October 13, 2012
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