Applicability of Green Requirements
Green Construction Code
The Green Construction Code (GCC) provides an approach to design and construction that conserves resources, including energy, materials and water, while providing a healthier indoor environment by emitting fewer pollutants and increasing the amount of natural light and ventilation.
The GCC applies to the design, construction, addition, alteration, change of occupancy, relocation, replacement, repair, equipment, building site, maintenance, removal, razing, demolition of (a) every building or structure; (b) appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures; and (c) the site on which the building or structure is located.
If the project is within the scope of the GCC, determine if you will elect to use the code or one of the four alternative compliance pathways:
- ASHRAE 189.1-2011
- Enterprise Green Communities Certified
- LEED at the Certified Level or higher
- National Green Building Standard (ICC 700) at the Bronze Level or higher, and ENERGY STAR New Homes or Multifamily High-Rise Certification
Projects that choose to comply with the GCC itself must also comply with Appendix A. Once a compliance path (GCC or others as listed above) is selected, the project has committed to completing the project under the chosen pathway and is required to complete all steps necessary to prove compliance, including full certification if applicable. If a project is seeking to follow an alternate compliance pathway, a full determination should be made before permit to ensure that the completed project will be eligible for certification under that pathway. Projects that do not complete the requirements of their chosen pathway will be subject to infractions and fines.
Green Building Act
Projects subject to the Green Building Act are required to pursue the applicable LEED Standard or Enterprise Green Communities at varying levels (certified, silver or gold). These projects include the following (the following is intended as a summary; please refer to the Green Building Act and associated regulations for further details):
A project that is new construction or a substantial improvement and, is either: a District-owned, District Instrumentality-owned, District-financed, or District instrumentality-financed, where the financing represents at least 15 percent of the project’s total cost; AND satisfies one of the following:
- Project of Educational Group E
- Project containing Residential occupancies of 10,000 square feet (929 m2) or more of gross floor area
- Interior construction of a mixed use space at least 50,000 contiguous square feet (4645 m2) of gross floor area in a Residential project
- Interior tenant fit-out alteration involving the alteration of 30,000 square feet (2787 m2) or more of gross floor area
- Interior tenant fit-out in new construction involving spaces of 30,000 square feet (2787 m2) or more of gross floor area.
Projects not described above, and with less than 50% of gross floor area containing Residential Group R occupancies.
A project that is new construction or a substantial improvement and is privately owned where less than 15 percent of the project’s total project cost is District financed; AND satisfies one of the following:
- Non-residential projects of 50,000 square feet (4645 m2) or more of gross floor area
- Interior construction of a mixed use space at least 50,000 contiguous square feet (4645 m2) of gross floor area in a Residential project.
Determine if the project is required to comply with the Green Building Act and what level you need to certify to using the following documents:
- Final Rulemaking (June 21, 2013)
- Green Building Act (revised)[PDF] - TITLE 6. HOUSING AND BUILDING RESTRICTIONS AND REGULATIONS CHAPTER 14A. GREEN BUILDING REQUIREMENTS
- Emergency Regulations
- Binding Pledge[PDF]
Required Documents for all Projects Meeting the Green Building Act
- Fill out the green building questions on the Online Permit Application Intake (OCPI)
- Provide plans and supporting documents in sufficient detail and clarity to show compliance with the relevant green construction practices as required for the compliance path selected
Required Documents for Seeking LEED Certification
If certifying with Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI):
Provide evidence of project registration with USGBC.
- Grant Green Plan Reviewer (GPR) read-only access to the project’s LEED Online Account
- If requesting DCRA Verification
Put in formal request to the GPR to set up next steps
- Submit Preliminary LEED Scorecard
For more information on LEED and its requirements, visit the United States Green Building Council online at: www.usgbc.org/leed
Required Documents for Seeking Green Communities Certification
If certifying with Enterprise:
- Submit the Prebuild Approval Notification from Enterprise
- Grant Green Plan Reviewer (GPR) access to the project’s online Enterprise Online Account
If requesting DCRA Verification:
- Put in formal request to the reviewer to set up next steps
- Submit a copy of the Enterprise “Intended Methods” checklist
- Submit energy model demonstrating compliance with the appropriate energy performance path, or a signed statement demonstrating compliance with the appropriate energy prescriptive path.
For more information on Green Communities and its requirements, visit Enterprise online at: greencommunitiesonline.org
Energy Star Benchmarking Requirements
All non-residential new building projects greater than 10,000 square feet are required to satisfy this requirement at the permitting stage by submitting the report demonstrating the project is designed to achieve 75 points or greater on the EPA Energy Performance Rating scale.
Go to ENERGY STAR’s website to begin the process.
If you have questions on Green Building or the requirements for your project please contact the Green Building Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.