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By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Monday, a new law aimed at encouraging the construction of “green buildings” is expected to be presented by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes to the City Council.  The presentation of the law coincides nicely with the start of the Rio+20 Earth Summit which officially begins on Wednesday.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes will introduce new legislation aimed at promoting Green Building in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes will introduce new legislation aimed at promoting Green Building in Rio, photo SAEPR/Flickr Creative Commons License.

The term green building refers to sustainable construction methods, encompassing not only the choice of sustainable materials but also structure design.

Paes mentioned in O Globo that, “A measure that encourages sustainable building is key. We expect a rapid response […] to put the legislation into force later this year.”

The new proposal will include both tax incentives. Those who qualify for the proposed green building certificate, entitling the holder to discounts of fifty percent or more from property tax and property transfer tax (ITBI), as well as a reduction of the municipal tax on construction services (ISS) from three percent to 1.5 percent or 0.5 percent.

The proposed laws would also provides alternatives to existing city building codes, particular rules related to roof areas and parking spaces.  For example, allowing twenty percent of parking spaces to be less than the current standard size of 2.5 meters by five meters.

An impact study, conducted by the Secretary of Urban Development, shows that if fifteen percent of new projects in Rio would benefit from the new laws on green building, resulting in about R$9.8 million a year in tax breaks.

Paes’ proposal is well-timed, though is not a novel idea.  The green industry in Rio has been growing steadily in recent years, including projects in Rio favelas.  The city is now in a green state of mind (as the nightly hue lighting Christ the Redeemer proves), but proposals like these aim to ensure the focus on sustainability will not dissipate after Rio+20 is over.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.

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