Houston's Green-Buildings Ranking May Be Inflated A Little

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As we suspected, Houston's stellar ranking in the EPA's list of green buildings isn't necessarily all it seems.

We spoke today with Patrick Kelly, the agency's coordinator of the Energy Star program here in Texas, and while the list is absolutely accurate -- there are 145 green buildings in Houston -- there might be other factors at work that led to us being in third place nationwide.

Building owners and managers voluntarily report their green status, he says. And while there are incentives to do so, some cities are more enthusiastic about reporting than others.

"In Dallas and Houston, you have very active programs in the building-manager associations and such that urge people to report," he tells Hair Balls. "Not all cities have that."

Doing so obviously is a way "to showcase yourself," Kelly says. "You go on a preferential list, and when people are looking for properties to move into, they want to be in energy-efficient buildings, they want to be able to advertise that they're being green."

But not everyone fills out the paperwork.

So -- not to take anything away from Houston's green-building commitment -- but third place may be a little high. It may be that we just like to brag about our green-ness more.

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