Model Policies

The city offers a density bonus of an additional market-rate dwelling unit for construction projects in which all dwelling units meet LEED standards. This bonus applies to projects within a Planned Unit Development and compliance is determined by either application or by affidavit for adherence during construction.

Focus: Multi-Family
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Maine

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 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

Within the High Intensity Mixed Use With Residential HX-R Zoning District, floor area ratios (FAR) bonuses are awarded to LEED certified projects, based on level of certification.

Focus: Multi-Family
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Minnesota

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

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