Model Policies

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

"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

Residential homes, including both single-family and multi-family, must exceed the 2006 IECC energy efficiency standards by a percentage that is based on square footage. Single-family homes less than 3,000 square feet must be 30% more efficient; homes between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet must be 50% more efficient; and homes larger than 5000 square feet must be 75% more efficient. All multi-family homes must exceed the 2006 IECC by 30%. All applicants seeking a remodel or addition to an existing structure must complete an energy audit before a permit to build will be issued. New construction and remodels must also show that at least 50% of the construction waste is recycled.

Focus: Residential
Category: Exceeding the Code, Green Building
State: Colorado

As of 2009, all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet and residential units adding one or more dwelling units must complete a green building checklist. Commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet must complete an energy analysis (recommended for multi-family residential).

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Green Building
State: California

Virginia Beach is creating an Energy Improvement Plan, which will include a "Green Fleet" program that requires all new buildings be LEED certified. Energy audits will be performed on selected buildings. Net metering and energy audits are encouraged for residential structures.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Green Building, Netmetering and Submetering Policies
State: Virginia

In addition to the state energy goals of reducing fossil fuel usage by 15% by 2015 and increasing the total renewable energy use to 25%, the Next Generation Energy Act requires utilities to provide technical assistance for all residential and commercial projects that incorporate green building practices in their construction.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Green Building, Incentive
State: Minnesota

HB 2615 requires municipalities to adopt standards for issuing permits for the use of certain solar energy devices, including single-family residential construction with solar photovoltaic systems intended to connect to a utility system and single-family residential solar water heating systems. It also requires that any building or permit fee assessed by a city or town relating to a solar energy product must be attributable and defray or cover the expense of the product or service for which the fee is assessed.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Netmetering and Submetering Policies
State: Arizona

Green building requirements added to San Mateo Municipal Code for residential and commercial structures. Green building requirements include resource conservation, waste reduction and diversion, and increased energy efficiency. Compliance requirements include planning applications, permit review, compliance during construction, and a final determination of compliance upon completion. In effect on January 1, 2010.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: California

The Private Development Green Building Ordinance requires a Green Point Rating System (GPRS) be used during new construction and remodeling of residential dwellings (single- and multi-family). Commercial buildings must include all items on the city of Hayward Checklist for Private Non-Residential Development before a certificate of occupancy will be awarded.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: California

Commercial buildings must be in compliance with LEED's minimum energy prerequisite. Residential homes (3 stories or less) must be in compliance with GreenPoint Rated's minimum energy prerequisites. Residential high rises (4 stories or more) must demonstrate energy usage to ensure compliance with 2009 GreenPoint Rated guidelines. Home Energy Rating System (HERS) ratings will be required for all multi-family renovations prior to attaining a building permit as of January 1, 2011.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: California

Palo Alto's mandatory program addresses residential and non-residential projects. Residential projects achieve Build it Green/Green Points Certification and are certified by Build it Green/Green Points Rater, or verified by the city, depending on project size. Non-residential projects must achieve LEED certification; smaller projects are verified by the city, larger must be registered and verified with USGBC.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: California

This mandatory program focuses on energy and water efficiency, as well as recycling and reuse of building materials. Level of compliance is tied to the square footage of the residence. A commercial program is under development. 

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Water and Landscaping
State: Colorado

Eagle County's comprehensive, point-based program is mandatory. Home size determines the number of points needed to achieve each level of certification. Plan review and inspection of program elements is fully integrated into the standard permitting and inspection process. Buildings exceeding minimum standards are eligible for rebates.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Colorado

The index is a tool used to assess all planned unit developments (PUD), PUD amendments, final plats, major special use permits, and zone changes. The points-based index addresses: site and location, connections and uses, transportation, and resource efficiency. Each project must meet a pre-determined point threshold for approval. The SCI promotes mixed use, transit-oriented, new urbanist, form-based, pedestrian- and environmentally-friendly, clustered, infill development, and is a required finding for new development proposals reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Colorado

Fort Collins' Green Building Program was created to help align Fort Collins with the community's goals for carbon emission reduction, energy efficiency, and water conservation. The city has developed green building amendments for commercial and residential projects that will increase resource, energy and water efficiency and conservation, indoor environmental quality, outdoor environmental quality, operations and maintenance education for the building owner (residential) and commissioning (commercial).

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Water and Landscaping
State: Colorado

With the 2010 Ordinance 1331, the city of Telluride adopted a green building program that applies to all new construction, additions, and remodels of commercial, residential, and multi-family homes and requires compliance with energy and green building codes. The city has created the Telluride Energy Mitigation Program (TEMP) that requires all excessive exterior energy use, larger homes, and heated garages mitigate or offset the impacts of the additional energy requirements by either using an on-site renewable energy source or making a payment in lieu. This includes outdoor pools, heated garages, and spas/ hot tubs. An energy code review fee equal to 20% of the project's building permit fee must be paid to cover the costs associated with verifying compliance. Funds from the energy code review and TEMP program will be used on town projects. Violating any portion of the ordinance will result in a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by a penalty as set in...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Colorado

The "Stamford Cool & Green 2020" incoporates energy efficiency, renewable energy, solid waste/recycling, transportation, and community. Highlights include:

The 10% Challenge is a voluntary program to help households and businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10%.  The 10% Challenge provides the tools and the information necessary to conserve energy at home and work.

Establish a list of the “top 10” green items or services that are routinely purchased by the city, or which represent a significant cost savings.  Develop a policy to ensure that the green items chosen are purchased.  General areas for consideration shall be cleaners, computers, fleets, office electronics, and paint. 

...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Lighting Upgrades
State: Connecticut

Charlotte County Board of Commissioners adopted a Green Building Ordinance establishing a Green Building Program. New residential projects and residential renovation projects that are certified under the LEED for Homes Rating System and new commercial projects, commercial renovation projects that are certified under the appropriate LEED Rating System, and land developments that are certified under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, are all eligible to participate in this program. All program participants are eligible for fast-track permitting and will be included in a marketing program to promote green building in Charlotte County. The County Board may adopt at a later date a resolution providing monetary incentives for green building, if County funds allow. Also, once the County Comprehensive Plan is adopted, the County Board will consider offering additional incentives including density bonuses for projects that are certified at LEED Silver and...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Florida

The Tampa Fast Track Review Checklist is not a rating system. It is a means whereby city staff can determine if a project meets certain sustainability criteria as to warrant a faster plan review. Some requirements include:

New and renovated municipal buildings 5,000 ft2 or larger must achieve LEED Silver.

Commercial buildings 5,000 ft2 or larger are required to comply with a third-party rating system, LEED or FGBC.

Residential and commercial buildings less than 5,000 ft2 must meet six requirements.

Other systems are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Grants are available to help with permitting costs.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Florida

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

This high profile, voluntary program offers recognition for high performing, comprehensively sustainable buildings.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: New Mexico

"Nashville has a voluntary green certificate program, offers density bonus incentives in designated neighborhoods, and has mandatory requirements for municipal buildings. To receive a green certificate of occupancy, commercial buildings must earn LEED Certified, specifically requiring WEc3.1 (20% water use reduction); residential buildings must submit proof of LEED or EarthCraft Homes certification. In the downtown area, development in the Central Business District is eligible to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) cap from 15 to 17 if the project achieves LEED Silver. Projects in this district benefit from a FAR of 19 if the project achieves LEED Gold. In the South of Broadway (SoBro) neighborhoods, developments are eligible to increase the FAR cap from 5 to 7 if the project achieves LEED Silver. Projects in these neighborhoods benefit from a FAR cap of 9 if LEED Gold is achieved. All public and publicly-funded building projects of 5,000 ft2 or greater (or...

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Tennessee

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 residential and commercial structures designed to achieve green building certification will receive priority plan review. Commercial buildings must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, LEED silver, which residential homes must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, LEED Homes silver, Nation Green Building Standards (NGBS) silver, Earthcraft select status, or Green Globes (3 to 5 green globes).

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Virginia

Residential, commercial, and mixed structures are eligible to apply for participation in Clark County's pilot program for sustainable development. The goal of the project is to promote and encourage the incorporation of elements of the Living Building Challenge into buildings and communities. The program will allow deviations from the current code requirements that might otherwise prevent sustainable buildings from being built. Applications will be accepted for 5 years or until six projects have been selected.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Washington

In a broad partnership of city resources (Washington State Department of Energy, Puget Sound Electric and others), Seattle provides customized green building education, early design guidance, technical assistance, incentives, and recognition of sustainable building. They recognize and support a variety of third party verification programs including Built Green and LEED. They have published a series of green guides for various project types and resource lists. The city not only provides extensive information on external incentives, it also provides incentives such as FAR bonuses in certain areas, expedited review service, etc.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Washington

Pima County's comprehensive, point-based program is voluntary. Home size determines the number of points needed to achieve each level of certification. Plan review and inspection of program elements are fully integrated into the standard permitting and inspection process. The program is designed to coordinate with ENERGY STAR, utility incentive programs, and EPAct Home program. A parallel commercial program is under development.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Arizona

Ordinance 04411 adds the Green Building Program to county building regulations. It also establishes program goals, outlines rating requirements, and expedites permit processing for GreenPoint Rated or LEED homes.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: California

Beginning July 1, 2009 all new applications for single-family residential buildings in the city of Santa Fe are subject to the Residential Green Building Code. Home size determines the number of points needed to achieve each level of certification. Plan review and inspection of program elements will be fully integrated into the permitting and inspection process. The program is designed to coordinate with ENERGY STAR, utility incentive programs, and EPAct Home program

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building
State: New Mexico

The following requirements are effective July 1, 2010: All new or substantially renovated residential structures must comply with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) New York ENERGY STAR-Labeled Home Program. At a minimum, homes less than 3500 ft2 must attain a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating of 84; homes with 3501 to 4500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 87; homes with 4501 to 6500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 90; and homes over 6500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 93. All commercial and municipal buildings, regardless of size, must meet the ""designed to ENERGY STAR"" requirements. Owners of residential homes and commercial buildings that meet LEED requirements are eligible for a refund of 0.25% of the costs of construction

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: New York

All new residential homes must meet the minimum requirements for certification as an Earth Advantage home, including an evaluation of energy usage, water usage, and air quality guidelines. Developers may increase the base density of units in residential developments by incorporating energy efficiency, architectural creativity and innovation, and the use of natural features of the landscape

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Oregon

In addition to the building codes of the city, the following is required: a minimum Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 83; one programmable thermostat on every story; return air paths on rooms must be closed off by a door; all joints in the air distribution system must be sealed with duct mastic; ASHRAE 62.2 must be met in respect to indoor air quality, HVAC system; HVAC plenums must be constructed of sheet metal; air filters must be replaced before occupancy; carpets, cushions, and adhesives must carry the Carpet and Rug Institute's (CRI) green label; vinyl wallpaper is not allowed in portions of the home. In addition to the landscape ordinance, bedding must be mulched using recycled content; and each installed tree must have an irrigation drip bag or zoned bubbler system. In addition to the city's waste and recycling regulations, construction waste, including brick and wood, must be recycled

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Water and Landscaping
State: Texas

Before residential homes may be built, a site plan must be prepared that identifies important features such as native vegetation and nearby water sources including streams and springs. The site plan must also contain a report on how the features of the site may be used to support green building and low impact development. Green certification may be attained by BuiltGreen or LEED.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Washington

This template offers ideas, provisions, and definitions a local government may chose to include when developing a green building ordinance. This document also includes ordinances and resolutions already passed by Florida jurisdictions.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Florida

In addition to requirements for increased energy performance, indoor air quality and homeowner education, the residential green building ordinance specifies the need for waste reduction and recycling. The waste reduction goal is to divert a minimum of 50% (by weight) from the landfill site.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building
State: Maryland