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The move was made partly because the entire town had to berebuilt anyway. A two-mile-wide tornado wiped out just about everystructure on May 4. Federal and state agencies are providing about85% of the rebuilding funds. "We have to make up the gap," says DanWallach, executive director of Greensburg GreenTown, apublic-private partnership dedicated to help rebuild the city. "Itmakes sense to rebuild with sustainable principals. The value ofgreen buildings are greater, and they have a long-termdurability."

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He says many developers have pledged to follow the city's lead,including the local John Deere tractor dealership, and a GeneralMotors dealership. Dillons executives have proposed green featuresfor a new store here, to serve as a model for sustainable designfor the parent company, Kroger, Wallach says. A new Main StreetSmall Business Incubator will also be built to green standards,along with the multifamily project Prairie Point, going for LEEDGold certification, and another mixed-use, multifamily developmentby the Commercial Group. "We've got about a dozen buildings rightnow going green," Wallach says.

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It's not much, a city of about 1,400 people even before thedisaster, promising to follow sustainable standards. But the pledgeis the first by any city in the US. "It's a sign that the greencommitment is spreading all over the country," says a USGBCspokeswoman. She says that there are about 9,000 projectsregistered as trying to achieve one of the LEED standards, withabout 1,200 certified. In total, that's about 2.3 billion sf ofspace seeking green status. "There's been a tremendous pickup inthe amount of green applications, it really speaks to the entiremovement. The rating system has grown and is now moving intoresidential and retail, and Platinum projects have grown, too, shesays. "There's 65 Platinum projects across the country, and we'reseeing a lot more projects in the introductory stages who have saidthey plan to go Platinum."

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The LEED rating system awards buildings points for satisfyingspecified green building criteria. The six major environmentalcategories of review include sustainable sites, water efficiency,energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoorenvironmental quality, and innovation and design.

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