One of the strongest tornadoes to ever hit the US ripped through Greensburg, Kansas seven years ago, demolishing everything in its path, and the resulting devastation gave Greenburg a unique chance to become an aspirational beacon to the rest of the country.
Rather than pack up and haul out, the residents decided to stay and rebuild, and they decided to “do it right.” Starting from scratch gave the town the opportunity to adopt green technologies and the financial benefits that come with them. “After all,” says Bob Dixson, Greenburg’s Mayor, “Our name is ‘Greensburg.’”
Although new, green, city buildings cost between 15 percent and 20 percent more than the non-green replacements, long-term reductions in utility and maintenance bills can recapture those extra expenses in as little as seven or eight years. “After that,” Dixson said. “It’s total savings.” [click to continue…]