Model Policies

State buildings should lead by example in energy efficiency. New construction and renovations of state-owned buildings must exceed the state energy code by at least 20% and should use energy modeling during the design process. Energy usage and costs are managed in a state-developed database, Enterprise Energy Management System.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Exceeding the Code
State: New Hampshire

"Prior to the sale of an existing residential structure, all toilets must be retrofitted with high efficiency toilets that meet the most recent requirements of the EPA Water Sense program. All city buildings with 5,000 square feet or more and all commercial buildings with 10,000 square feet or more must attain a LEED rating of silver. Select city buildings are required to achieve a gold rating. Commissioning is required for city buildings as a prerequisite for LEED. The energy performance and CO2 emissions for green buildings must be calculated to ensure that the structure exceeds the California Code by 15%."

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Exceeding the Code, Green Building
State: California

Law requires that commercial buildings, including additions and remodels, must exceed ASHRAE 90.1 or the 2006 IECC energy requirements by at least 30%.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Exceeding the Code
State: Colorado

The "Stretch Code," an appendix to the Massachusetts state code, is a voluntary option for both residential and commercial buildings to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency than the 2009 IECC code. Adherence to the stretch code could result in 20% to 35% better energy efficiency in residential structures, and 20% better energy efficiency in commercial buildings when compared to the existing code.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Exceeding the Code
State: Massachusetts

All new state-leased buildings must be built as high-performance buildings and exceed the IECC most recently adopted by at least 20%. High-performance building standards will be adopted by the state department and apply to any structure purchased with state money, located at a state institution, or owned by a state agency.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Exceeding the Code
State: Montana

New state construction must exceed the energy conservation provisions of the Oregon State building code by 20% or more. In addition, the 2007 Oregon Legislature passed HB2620, which requires that public entities spend 1.5% of the total contract price of a public improvement contract for new construction or major renovation of a public building on solar energy technology. The SEED guidelines were updated October 1, 2010, to include changes made to the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Exceeding the Code
State: Oregon

Greensburg's Sustainable Comprehensive Master Plan was created in an effort to rebuild Greensburg after a devastating earthquake in 2007. The Master Plan provides a framework for the rebuilding of Greensburg based around the principles of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. As part of the plan, all municipal buildings must be constructed to LEED platinum standards and exceed the energy efficiency baseline code by 42%. The city also has a windfarm that produces 100% renewable energy for the town. It is voluntary for residential homes to comply with the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard. The Master Plan incorporates all aspects of green building- from site selection to walkability to landscaping to hazard mitigation- every element is covered.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Exceeding the Code, Green Building, Water and Landscaping
State: Kansas

The city of Austin has numerous green building provisions within the city building code, with requirements that vary according to location, zoning designation and building type. The building standards rely on the Austin Energy Green Building Rating system and the LEED certification system as metrics. In some cases, developers have the option of achieving compliance under either of the two systems. Under the Austin Energy Green Building Rating System, buildings are awarded up to five stars depending on the number and breadth of green building elements that are incorporated into the design. In terms of energy efficiency, rated buildings are designed to exceed the Austin Energy Code.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Exceeding the Code, Green Building
State: Texas

All new construction and substantial remodels must exceed Title 24 by 10%, use solar as primary heating for pools, insulate hot water pipes, use the Green Materials list for 50% of building square footage or 100% of building fixtures, submit landscape and irrigation plans for approval to the city of Santa Monica, divert 65% of construction and demolition waste from the landfill, and capture and treat rainwater.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Code Adoption and Compliance, Exceeding the Code, Green Building
State: California

Adoption of the 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code was based on the requirements of the 2009 IECC. Residential structures must comply with envelope and system requirements, including thermal bypass requirements, of ENERGY STAR. Lighting requirements are also based on ENERGY STAR: 75% must be high-efficacy OR 50% of installed lighting must be ENERGY STAR certified. All residential projects must be 20% more efficient than the 2006 IECC. Commercial structures must comply with the 2009 IECC unless more energy efficient standards are provided by the NM code. Effective January 11, 2011.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Code Adoption and Compliance, Exceeding the Code
State: New Mexico