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Dallas aims to make city buildings greener by 2030

Solar panels would be one component of Dallas' goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
Osama Faisal/AP
Solar panels would be a part of the city's upgraded plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Options include improving the city's current plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Dallas leaders are looking at options for cleaner city buildings with the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

That means making city buildings more energy-efficient and climate-resilient – a new goal that goes beyond the city’s current net-zero energy plan as outlined in its Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.

Susan Alvarez, assistant director at the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, addressed City Council members Monday about upgrading the plan for net-zero carbon.

“This is kind of a new thing in the world of climate planning,” Alvarez said. “So the next steps are working with other cities to see what they're doing.”

Alvarez said more than 60% of greenhouse gasses in Dallas are emitted by energy used in the city’s buildings.

The city’s Green Building plan is part of a program that’s been in place since 2003. Buildings like the Kiest Recreation Center already meet the city’s current standards for green roofing but Alvarez said bringing them up to net-zero carbon standards would be “taking it up a notch.”

Alvarez said the planned new convention center is part of the green building vision. It would include on-site renewable energy and low carbon building materials as well as electric appliances using a clean-energy grid.

“The direction provided by the city collectively, not just me, to that design team was to make this building cutting edge with respect to energy efficiency and design,” Alvarez said.

Dallas City Council members said they hope to vote on a new green building policy by the end of the year.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.