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Building 'green' still makes sense for Md.

Building 'green' still makes sense for Md.
Plants growing in more than 500 recycled aluminum planters paint a green banner on PNC's Maryland headquarters building at One E. Pratt St. File. (Courtesy PNC Bank)

Taryn Holowka’s thoughtful commentary, “Why would Maryland move backward on green building?” (June 19), about the importance and value of Maryland’s high-performance “green” building program makes perfect sense. Her point — that a change to self-certification for standards instead of continuing the current third-party LEED system would be disastrous — is echoed by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s recent testimony in Congress (“Pilots criticize Boeing for mistakes on its grounded jet,” June 20). In it, he blasted the Federal Aviation Administration for allowing Boeing to certify its own safety, done in such a sloppy and covert manner that two jumbo jets crashed.

Buildings use about 50% of the energy in the United States. Green buildings use less energy and some even generate power. Numerous studies show that workers and students perform better with less absenteeism in these healthier buildings. Green building legislation was enacted with bipartisan support over 10 years ago, and as a result, Maryland’s green building program has saved taxpayers millions in energy costs. With modern design techniques and construction, it costs no more — or very little more — to build a “green” building instead of “brown” one.

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The Maryland Green Building Council should not make any change in its certification process and it should maintain its policy of applying proven standards from independent and objective entities.

Dr. Dan Morhaim, Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represented District 11, Baltimore County, in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995 until 2019.

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