Model Policies

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

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

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

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 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

The original ordinance was signed in 2000, with additional definitions added in 2006 for clarification. Gilbert's water conservation ordinance addresses irrigation water use in new residential developments and commercial properties. Water-intensive landscaping in common areas of a new single family or multi-family development shall not exceed 10% of the total landscapable area in the new development. If reclaimed water is used on such common areas, the town's reclaimed water incentive rate shall be charged. If only reclaimed water is used on common areas, the amount of water-intensive landscaping may increase to 50% of the total landscapable area. In model homes, the following restrictions apply: (a) The combined water-intensive landscaping and water features of model homes in new single-family developments shall not exceed 20% of the landscapable area; (b) Water-intensive landscaping shall be located only where it is functionally useful, such as in play areas or...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Water and Landscaping
State: Arizona

All irrigation systems must be installed with a rainwater sensor that will override the system to ensure landscapes are not being watered in the rain. Violators will be charged a fine that will increase with each day of offense, up to $400 per day.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Water and Landscaping
State: North Carolina

Directly watering impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks, as well as overwatering to the extent that water cannot be absorbed into the soil, will result in a fine of that will increase with each day of offense, up to $400 per day.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Water and Landscaping
State: North Carolina

Residential and commercial buildings with even numbered addresses are allowed to water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Residential and commercial buildings with odd numbered addresses are allowed to water Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Watering by hand with a can or hose is allowed any day of the week, as long as the hose or can is physically held by a person. Residential fines can be up to $500. Commercial fines can range from $250 to $2,000.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Water and Landscaping
State: North Carolina