Rebuilding It Better: Greensburg, Kansas, City Hall

From Open Energy Information


The city of Greensburg, Kansas, is rebuilding as a model green community with the help of the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. A tornado destroyed or damaged 95% of the town's homes and businesses on May 4, 2007. Greensburg turned disaster into opportunity and created a vision to rebuild as a sustainable community. The town has gathered a diverse group of experts, including DOE and NREL, to make their vision of rebuilding green a reality. The brochure provides information on the technologies used by the city of Greensburg including a vegitated roof, ground source heat pumps, solar PV, and wind energy technologies.  The overall goals of the community are met by this LEED Platinum building within Energy Efficiency, Economic Development, and Water Conservation.  The brochure also provides a model for Creating a Vision, Bringing the right people together, Evaluating options, Developing Goals, Implementing projects, and creating early successes.

Community Information
Name Greensburg, Kansas
Type City
Population 2,421[2]
Community Energy Goals •All new homes will use 30%-40% less energy than before the tornado

•New city buildings will achieve LEED Platinum certification •Other commercial and public buildings will be designed to LEED Platinum or Gold rating levels •100% renewable electricity 100% of the time Reduce GHG emissions by 36% relative to pre-tornado emissions

Baseline Estimated 2005 energy consumption: 15.6 million kWh; 92 mcf; 1.6 million gallons gasoline; 415,000 gallons diesel.
Results to Date •4 LEED Platinum commercial buildings

•Of the first 190 homes built after the tornado, about half were analyzed for expected energy savings (heat and electricity), and averaged 40% less energy use than code •Wind farm that produces 12.5 MW of energy, or enough to power every home, business, and municipal building in the town, as well as surrounding areas 2008 annualized total electricity use: 8 million kWh (with 800 out of the original 1,400 residents)


This brochure highlights the energy-efficiency and renewable energy features of this new LEED platinum city  building in Greensburg, Kansas. Highlights specific renewable energy and energy efficiency features that can be incorporated into any commercial building.

Environmental Aspects

1) 52% of the new homes permitted between May, 2007 and March, 2009 were voluntarily rated for energy efficiency. Nine townhome rental units are projected to use 41% less energy than a standard home.  33 homes that were renovated and measured will use on average 25% less energy than a standard home.  The city has also passed a resolution that all city-owned buildings will be LEED Platinum.  The city has entered an agreement to build a 12.5MW wind farm and to provide 100% renewable electricity to the city. 2) LEED Platinum certification for City Hall


  1.  "Rebuilding It Better: Greensburg, Kansas, City Hall"
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