The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has votedto ease energy efficiency regulations for new and renovated county buildings. The decision repeals a policy that required any county construction projects of 20,000 square feet or more to include certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Commissioners say the new policy will save money by allowing for more ways to design the county's new judicial facility. Chatham County manager Charlie Horne believes the county can maintain a high standard of energy efficient buildings without having LEED certification.
"I don't think LEED has anything to do with that if you maintain those standards and we're not going to let those down. That's just part of the architectural process and will be - for our purposes - for any building that the board decides to build."
Horne says architects are planning to include energy-saving water and electric systems in the new judicial building.