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

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

All publicly owned or leased facilities are audited, and a baseline emissions inventory is established. The city commits to a 10% reduction in energy use within 5 years and 15% by 2020. R-38-06 also requires a green building design checklist and green building fact sheet for all private building permit applications to raise awareness of green building standards. New public facilities must have minimum standard of silver certification.

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

Ordinance proposed on ENERGY STAR benchmarking for commercial and multi-family buildings 20,000 square feet and greater.

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

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

This program focuses on whole community, including modification of building and zoning codes, creation of green building standards, incentives for green building certification, and city commitments. Changes to the general plan and zoning, requirements for LEED municipal buildings, and adoption of the 2006 IECC will result in mandatory changes, while incentives to promote LEED in private commercial developments encourage voluntary changes.

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

This law establishes a set of rules for creating a sustainable construction act. It also requires that state-funded buildings exceed ASHRAE 90.1.-2004 by 30% when it is determined by a life cycle cost analysis that payback will not exceed 10 years. All major facilities must achieve a 15% water use reduction based on the Energy Policy Act of 1992. ENERGY STAR designation is encouraged. Buildings should account for siting, local and renewable source use, and pollutant discharge.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Georgia

State agencies should reduce the amount of energy consumed and the environmental impact of state operations. All agencies are responsible for producing a Strategic Energy Plan (SEP) that includes provisions for collecting and monitoring energy use data. LEED is one of several choices of tools to use in green building. SEPs should also cover preferred-purchasing guidelines, the use of bio-based products when available, green vehicle fleets, the establishment of recycling programs with agencies, energy consumption reduction strategies, etc.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Arkansas

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

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

All new construction and renovation of state buildings must follow the guidelines of LEED or other green building rating systems, including Green Globes and the Florida Green Building Coalition standards. The bill requires the same of the following public entities in the state of Florida entering design after July 1, 2008: counties, municipalities, school districts, water management districts, state universities, community colleges, and Florida state courts. The bill further requires that all new leases of state-occupied office space must meet ENERGY STAR.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Florida

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

All new commercial buildings, including offices, multiple residence structures, industrial buildings and senior citizen centers greater than 20,000 ft2, must achieve a LEED certification. All municipal or city-owned buildings, regardless of size, must also achieve a LEED certification.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Georgia

Chicago requires that several green building strategies be used in city owned or funded buildings, including LEED certification, green roofs, and effective storm water management.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Water and Landscaping
State: Illinois

The city of Evanston requires that all commercial, multi-family, and city-owned or city-financed buildings over 10,000 square feet receive a LEED Silver rating or higher. All commercial, multi-family, and city-owned buildings seeking interior renovations must either receive a LEED-Commercial Interiors (CI) certification of Silver or higher or incorporate elements of thec ity of Evanston Sustainable Building Measures for Interior Renovations (ESBMIR). Projects less than 5000 square feet must integrate three ESBMIR measures, projects 5,000 to 20,000 square feet must integrate five measures, and projects over 20,000 square feet must incorporate seven measures.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Illinois

Kansas City requires that the design, construction, and operation of all new facilities and renovations in buildings with at least 5,000 square feet be built to the LEED Gold rating or higher of the most recent version of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED standard.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Missouri

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

Newly constructed or extensively modified commercial buildings and multi-family residential structures with more than 10,000 square feet must be built to the Green Building Standards of the City of Baltimore. Compliance with the Baltimore Green Buildings Law requires, at minimum, either two earned stars via the standards option or a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver rating.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family
Category: Green Building
State: Maryland

The Green Building Tax Credit provides a 25% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Silver certification or equivalent, a 50% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Gold certification or equivalent, and a 75% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Platinum certification or equivalent, for a period of 5 consecutive years. This tax credit only applies to property that is principally used for business, commercial, or industrial purposes.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Maryland

The Leading by Example Program is designed to provide feedback to and support efforts across the state to reduce environmental impact. State-owned buildings must reduce energy consumption by 20% using fiscal year 2004 as a baseline. All new construction must meet the Massachusetts LEED Plus green building standard.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family
Category: Green Building
State: Massachusetts

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

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

Green buildings achieving LEED-NC certification in the city of Columbus, Ohio are eligible for LEED reimbursement ranging from a minimum of the certification fee to a maximum of three times the certification fee. All eligible projects must receive certification from the USGBC and credit for at least 8 of 12 essential LEED-NC credits designated by the city. The funds for certification reimbursement are available through the Green Columbus Fund, a $1 million grant program to encourage green building and brownfield redevelopment.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Ohio

The 2009 update of the city's policy reflects an energy efficiency improvement from the original LEED Gold requirement for all city-owned projects. The new construction and major remodels of city-owned facilities must register with the U.S. Green Building Council and certify at the Gold level, in addition to specific criteria for recycling, water conservation, energy conservation and onsite generation, commissioning, and cool roofs. Tenant Improvements and Leased Spaces must register and certify at LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) Silver, or use the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's Green Tenant Improvement Guide. Existing Buildings must pursue LEED EB Silver, with specific criteria for roof replacements. Additional standards are in place for historic buildings and operations and maintenance.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family
Category: Green Building
State: Oregon

"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

The minimum standards for the commercial green building program include: 100% of all roofs must comply with the ENERGY STAR Cool Roof Program; shade trees shall be planted along the front of the building to create a pedestrian environment and to mitigate heat; potable water for landscape must be reduced by at least 50%; all concrete and metal must be recycled from construction and demolition waste; and education programs concerning commercial green building initiatives will be hosted. 

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Water and Landscaping
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

All city buildings over 5,000 square feet, new or renovated, will meet the LEED Silver rating whenever technically possible. LEED building will be promoted in the private sector, and city staff will continue to be educated in green building practices.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building
State: Washington

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

All new city-owned buildings with adequate resources over 5,000 square feet must meet the LEED Silver certification requirements. For buildings and renovations without adequate resources, the city will implement other cost-effective green building practices. The city will encourage the use of LEED and other green building practices in private buildings through code development, building standards, and land use regulations.

Focus: Commercial
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

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

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

This law provides model policy ordinances for construction and demolition (C&D) construction, green building, etc.

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

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