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Green Building Codes/Ordinances

Materials and Water Conservation
Energy Efficiency Design Standards
Solar Access Protection


Development Center for Appropriate Technology
DCAT is a national nonprofit organization working to remove barriers to more sustainable building and development. Their website supplies the text of alternative building material codes from cities and states that have adopted them.

General Services Administration--National; 2002
Beginning in FY 2003 all new GSA building projects must meet criteria for basic LEED™ certification. GSA will be utilizing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Rating System as a goal in design criteria to help apply principles of sustainable design and development to facilities projects. A number of GSA documents offer sustainable design guidance.

City of Santa Monica Building Guidelines--Santa Monica, California; 1996.
Santa Monica has adopted a set of Guidelines to facilitate green buildings without forcing excessive costs on developers, owners, or occupants. Two performance-based ordinances improve the environmental and resource performance of buildings by requiring reduced energy consumption and reduced runoff. 

Green Building Ordinance--Frisco, Texas; 2001
The Green Building Ordinance established a green building program and regulates the energy efficiency, conservation of water, indoor air quality and recycling of waste in all residential buildings and structures in the City of Frisco by setting minimum standards.

Seattle Sustainable Building Policy--Seattle, Washington; 2000.
The policy uses the US Green Building Council's LEED™ Rating System to evaluate City projects and sets a policy goal of Silver Level performance for City-funded projects with over 5000 square feet of occupied space.

County of San Mateo Sustainable Building Policy--San Mateo, California: 2001.
Requires future County buildings to be built to LEED standards, as developed by the US Green Building Council.

Cook County, Illinois LEED Ordinance--2001
This ordinance requires all newly constructed county facilities to be built to the LEED silver standard of certification.

City of Lakewood, Ohio, Green Building Policy--2003
The policy requires the City to incorporate green building principles and practices into the design, construction, and operation of all City facilities, and to evaluate all land purchases for future development on the basis of reducing environmental impacts.

Declaration of Community Responsibility, Covenants, and Restrictions--New Pattonsburg, Missouri; 1995. 
Provides for the encouragement of sustainable construction, energy efficient design and orderly development of the new town. 

Immediate Development Objectives--New Pattonsburg, Missouri; 1994.  
Outlines initial development guidelines and establishes a sustainable economic development council. 

Models and Guidelines for Managing Maryland's Growth - Infill and Redevleopment--Maryland; 2001
Addresses infill development and includes model zoning codes, examples of existing zoning codes from jurisdictions throughout the country, and a list of minimum requirements that jurisdictions must meet in order to qualify for certain state incentives.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Planning and Design Policy--National; 1998.
Represents NAVFAC's proactive commitment to environmentally sustainable facilities. The policy is detailed in the following three documents:
*Memorandum: Sustainable Development Implementation
*Criteria Supporting the Design of Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure
*Procurement of Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure Through Architectect-Engineer and Related Contracts

Declaration of Interdependence for a Sustainable Future--UIA/AIA World Congress of Architects, Chicago, Illinois; 1993. 
States a commitment, signed by about 3,000 design professionals, to furthering sustainable building practices. 

Built Green Colorado--Colorado; 1996. 
Provides criteria for the designation of ‘green’ homes and offers technical and marketing assistance for builders meeting those criteria. 

Green Builder Program--Austin, Texas; 1992. 
Establishes an environmental building rating system and offers technical and marketing assistance to builders meeting system criteria. 

Materials and Water Conservation 

Construction Site Solid Waste and Recycling Collection--Portland, Oregon; 1996. 
Mandates recycling of construction site waste for any building project with a total job cost over $25,000 as well as requiring recycling programs for businesses and multifamily dwellings. 

Straw-Bale Structures Building Code--Tucson, Arizona; 1996
Establishes minimum construction requirements for buildings using strawbales in wall systems. 

Guidelines for Straw-Bale Structures--State of California; 1995
Establishes minimum construction requirements for buildings using strawbales in wall systems. 

Resource-Efficient City Buildings--San Francisco, California; 1999.
Creates a Resource-Efficient Building Program and establishes resource efficiency requirements for city-owned facilities and city leaseholds.

Voluntary Resource-Efficient Guidelines on New Construction and Building Renovation Projects--San Diego, California; 1997. 
Establishes voluntary green building guidelines that focus on energy and resource efficiency, waste minimization, and protection of the environment. 

Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Ordinances -- Shorewood, Minnesota, and Plymouth, Minnesota; 2002
In order to limit algae growth and consequent degradation of lake and river quality, state legislation was passed in 2002 restricting the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizer to 0% in lawn fertilizer in the 7-county metro area and 3% in the other 80 Minnesota counties.

Energy Efficiency Design Standards 

Single Family Dwelling Energy Efficiency Ordinance--Marin County, California; 2002.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted new energy code requirements for homes larger than 3,500 square-feet, to reduce the annual and peak energy consumption of large homes, and to ensure that a new single family home larger than 3,500 sf does not exceed the energy use of the Title 24 standard of the equivalent home designed at 3,500 sf. Energy efficiency or renewable energy supplements can be used to meet the standard.

Statutes Relating to Energy Conservation--State of Arizona; 2003
The State of Arizona revised its energy conservation standards for public buildings, to require that state agencies reduce energy use in public buildings by 10 percent by 2008 and 15 percent by 2011, and purchase Energy Star certified energy efficient products.

Energy Policy--Portland, Oregon; 1990. 
Provides a 10-year plan to increase energy efficiency in all sectors of Portland by ten percent. 

Energy Performance Standards--Montgomery County, Maryland; 1985. Establishes minimum energy performance standards for county buildings. 

Building Energy Design Standards--Montgomery County, Maryland; 1985. 
Establishes design requirements for new or remodel construction of County buildings to ensure that the above Energy Performance Standards are met. 

Energy Efficiency Standards--State of California; 2003
Updated building standards for energy efficiency were approved for California in November 2003. The new standards take effect in October 2005, and will yield more than 500 megawatts in energy savings for the state by 2008. The new standards include the use of "cool roofs" and efficient lighting, as well as measures to encourage greater use of daylighting, better sealing of ducts, and improved window glazing.

Energy Efficiency Standards--State of California; 1995 
Establishes energy efficiency requirements for residential and non-residential building. 

Energy Conservation Ordinance--Chapel Hill, North Carolina; 1997.
Establishes energy-efficiency design and construction standards for new and renovated town buildings.

Energy Conservation Retrofit Regulations--Davis, California; 1994. 
Requires existing residential structures to conform to energy conservation requirements, with compliance monitoring applied to the sales of property. 

Energy Conservation Standards for Alterations and Remodels to Residential Structures--Davis, California; 1994. 
Establishes minimum energy performance levels beyond state requirements, while allowing for innovation and flexibility of design. 

Solar Access Protection 

Solar Energy Ordinance--Port Arthur, Texas; 1979. 
Provides solar access protection as well as establishing requirements for street design in new building projects to maximize solar energy benefits. 

Solar Access: Summary of Ordinance--Boulder, Colorado; 1991
Limits the amount of permitted shading by new construction and requires that new buildings be sited to provide good solar access. 

Solar Access Regulations--Boulder, Colorado; 1991. 
Limits the amount of permitted shading by new construction and requires that new buildings be sited to provide good solar access. 

Solar Access, Thermal Performance, and Solar Heating Ordinances--Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin; 1980. 
Establishes energy performance standards for new building, including a requirement that non-residential buildings receive a minimum of 50 percent of their heating from solar energy. 

Solar Codes and Ordinances--New Pattonsburg, Missouri; 1996. 
Provides for protection of solar access, encourages alternative housing design ,the use of wind energy conversion systems and other resource efficient technologies.

Solar Rights Act--State of New Mexico; 1978.
Defines the right to use solar energy as a property right and provides for state encouragement of its use.

Last updated: April 20, 2004

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