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Energy and Green Building Compliance

DC 2017 and DC 2013 Energy Conservation Code and Green Construction Code amendments and 2015 ICC Model Codes

Laws and Regs


The Green Building Act (GBA) (§ 6-1451.01 - § 6-1451.11) establishes high-performance green building standards for public and private construction projects.  If a project falls within the scope of the GBA, and associated regulations, compliance with the GBA will also satisfy compliance with the 2013 and 2017 Green Construction Code.

Anacostia Waterfront Environmental Standards Act

The Anacostia Waterfront Environmental Standards Act enhances the green building requirements of the Green Building Act.

Other related regulations

Green Area Ratio (GAR) - Part of the Zoning Regulations, the GAR is administered by the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE).  For more information click here.

Stormwater Management Regulations - Click here for more information.

Interpretations and Guidance

The Green Building Division has provided training and guidance for Third Party Plan Review and Inspection Agencies regarding the DC Green and Energy Codes.  Content can be reviewed here.  

2013 DC Commercial Energy Conservation Code

Performance Pathway Guidance

The energy code has multiple compliance options for project teams.  Additionally, DCRA has created two new pathways for project teams to show compliance when using an energy model for 3rd party green building programs.  (e.g. LEED, Enterprise Green Communities)  A project team may  submit the same 3rd party energy model to demonstrate energy code compliance, provided the model exceeds  ASHRAE Appendix G standards as follows:

  1.  Energy model 18% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Appendix G
  2. Energy model 5% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Appendix G

Energy Modeling Guidance

There are many types of energy modeling software that may be used to show compliance with the Energy Code. DCRA requires that the project teams provide sufficient input and output documentation for the baseline and proposed spaces to document the weather location, envelope, mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, costs, and energy usage for comparing the model to the drawings. Below are two common software programs used by energy modelers and the reports requested for each.

  • eQuest Reports: SV-A, PV-A, BEPU, ES-D, LV-H, LV-I, LV-B,LV-C, BEPS,ERV Energy Recovery Summary
  • Trane Trace Reports: ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation, Building Areas, Building U-Values, Economic Information, Energy Cost Budget, Library Members, Plant Information, Entered Values, System Component Selection Summary, Psychrometric, Room Checksums, Walls by Direction, LEED Summary Report (if applicable)

2013 DC Residential Energy Conservation Code

New systems must meet the requirements of Systems - Section R403.

  • Section R403.2.2.1 - Sealed air handler. Air handlers shall have a manufacturer’s designation for an air leakage of no more than 2 percent of the design air flow rate when tested in accordance with ASHRAE 193.
  • Section R403.6 - Equipment Sizing:  Heating and cooling equipment shall be sized in accordance with ACCA Manual S based on building loads calculated in accordance with ACCA Manual J or other approved heating and cooling calculation methodologies.  

NOTE:  A Manual S Report must accompany the Manual J Report.

  • Section R403.6 is not required for HVAC units that are at a nominal maximum size of 1.5 tons (18,000btuh).  Although not required, a load calculation is recommended to establish room by room air flow rates.  

       Please review our load sizing Guidelines designed to help project teams better understand compliance.   

       ACCA approved software can be found at www.acca.org/standards/approved-software

Residential Energy Certificates
All properties subject to the 2013 Residential Energy Conservation Code must post an energy certificate in each dwelling unit, per Section R401.3 Certificate.
The energy certificates must be permanently affixed on the electrical panel in each house/dwelling unit. As an alternative, DCRA will allow permanently affixed energy certificates to be placed in mechanical closets provided that they are clearly visible from the doorway. 

The energy code dictates what information, at a minimum, must be included on the certificate. DCRA has provided two versions of compliant certificates. This version can be printed 4 to a page on sticker paper; this version has space to add company-specific logos and contact information.

2013 DC Green Construction Code


Per Section of the 2013 DC Building Code, commissioning is required for projects subject to the 2013 DC Green Construction Code that are either (1) new construction^, (2) level 3 alterations, or (3) level 1 and 2 alterations 50,000 square feet or greater*. Commissioning shall be done in accordance with Section 611 and Chapter 9 of the DC Green Construction Code (DC-GCC), and shall use the ICC G4 as a guide for Commissioning.

Systems to be Commissioned are outlined in Section 611 and Chapter 9 of the DC Green Construction Code (DC-GCC.) This included new systems, relocated systems, and Existing systems serving new spaces or with new performance characteristics or set-points. For example, an existing VAV-box serving reconfigured offices should be included in the commissioning process for DC-GCC.

^New construction includes additions of over 10,000 sf, and all first-time tenant fit-outs, as they are completing the new construction of the building.

*Projects pursuing compliance under an alternative compliance pathway (e.g. LEED, Enterprise Green Communities, ASHRAE 189.1, NGBS/ICC-700) per Section of the DC Building Code, or are subject to the Green Building Act will have specific commissioning requirements per the selected pathway. Please review the requirements of each program.

Approved Commissioning Sampling

Project teams and Commissioning Agents (CXa's) wanting to implement sampling during Commissioning, shall follow the RESNET Sampling Protocol, including for multiple identical systems commissioned within a 30 day period:

  1. full commissioning of the first seven, if one or more of the first seven record a failure (failed PFC or FPT), Commissioning of every unit until 7 consecutive passes are recorded.
  2. sampling one out of every 7, after the first 7, if the first seven do not record a failure is allowed.
    • if one PFC or FPT records a failure within a sampling set, an additional two from the 7-set shall be commissioned. If one of these two record a failure, the remaining 4 in the set shall be commissioned. Continue Commissioning all systems at random until seven consecutive passes are recorded is required before Sampling is allowed to be implemented again.
  3. when Sampling, the chosen system to Commission shall be chosen at random out of the sampling set by the CXa.

Any Sampling rate proposed and/or implemented shall be clearly outlined and recorded on all CX plans and Reports.

Elements of a Preliminary Commissioning Report

Per GCC Section 611, a preliminary commissioning report must include the following:

  1. Completed Pre-Functional Checklist
  2. FPT- Results of Functional Performance Testing
  3. Issues Log- Disposition of all deficiencies including details of corrective measures used. Include issues resolved, issues outstanding, and deferred tests.

Certification of Compliance- Compliance with DC Energy Conservation Code C403 Building Mechanical System and C404 Service Water Heating sections.

Questions or suggestions?  Contact us.

Approved Commissioning Authority & Minimum Qualifications

Approved Commissioning Authority

The following companies have been designated as an approved commissioning authority by DCRA:

  • 4C Solutions
  • A2 Services
  • Above Green
  • Advanced Building Performance
  • Aero Building Solutions
  • AKF
  • Alderson Engineering, Inc.
  • Ama Commissioning + Building Systems, Inc.
  • ARUP
  • Bala Consulting Engineers, Inc.
  • Baumann Consulting
  • BKM
  • Brinjac Engineering
  • Budova Engineering
  • Building Energeticx
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Cadmus
  • Cannon Design
  • CFR Engineering
  • Chinook Systems Inc.
  • CMTA, Inc.
  • Colliers Project Leaders
  • Complete Commissioning
  • CPM Scheduling, LLC
  • CTA
  • CTI Consultants, Inc.
  • Design Solutions LLC
  • Dewberry
  • DLR Group
  • Dwyer Engineering
  • E2S (Energy Efficiency Services)
  • Edison Energy
  • Engineering Economics, Inc.
  • Facility Dynamics Engineering
  • FSi Engineers
  • GHT
  • Global Engineering Solutions
  • GPI
  • HBS Solutions
  • Henderson Building Solutions
  • Henry Adams, LLC
  • Horizon Engineering Associates
  • Integrated and Open Systems
  • Interface Engineering, Inc.
  • Jacobs Engineering
  • Jay Hall & Associates, Inc.
  • KK Engineering, LLC
  • KTA Group Inc.
  • Leach Wallace Associates, Inc.
  • Lilker EMO Energy Solutions
  • Loring Consulting Engineers
  • MaGrann Associates
  • MEP Solutions
  • New Ecology, Inc.
  • Paladino and Company
  • Questions & Solutions Engineering (QSE)
  • R.G. Vanderweil Engineers
  • RMF Engineering, Inc.
  • Steven Winter Associates
  • Sustainable Building Partners (SBP)
  • TES Engineering
  • The Stone House Group
  • Thomas Baker + Associates
  • Thorson Baker + Associates
  • UL
  • WB Engineers + Consultants
  • WFT Engineering
  • Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
  • WSP

Minimum Qualifications

Per Section 11 of the 2017 DC Energy Code, the code official determines the required qualifications for an approved commissioning agency. The approved agency must lead, review and oversee the completion of all commissioning process activities for the project.

An approved agency must meet the following credentials:

  • Must be a Certified Commissioning Professional certified by one of the following commissioning provider certification agencies:
    • Building Commissioning Association (BCA), Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP)
    • Building Commissioning Certification Board(BCCB)- Certified Commissioning Professional -CCP
    • ASHRAE, Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP)
    • ASHRAE, Building Commissioning Professional Certification (BCxP)
    • AABC Commissioning Group, ACG, Commissioning Authority (CxA )
    • National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB), Building Systems Commissioning (BSC)
    • Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Certified Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP)
    • University of Wisconsin -Accredited Commissioning Process Manager (CxM)
    • University of Wisconsin - Accredited Commissioning Process Authority Professional (CxAP or CAP)
    • University of Wisconsin - Accredited Green Commissioning Process Provider (GCxP or GCP )
  • The commissioning authority shall not be a member of any construction or design firm involved in the design or construction of the project.
  • The commissioning authority shall contract with the project owner or owner representative, but not a design firm or construction firm involved in the design or construction of the project.

Submit Commissioning Authority Qualifications

Interested in being listed as a approved commissioning authority? Provide the following to [email protected]:

  • Contact information for each qualified team member (name, email, phone).
  • Evidence of commissioning provider certification.

Acknowledge that the commissioning authority shall not be a member of any construction or design firm involved in the design or construction of the project. Acknowledge that the contract with the commissioning authority must be with the project owner or owner representative, but not a design firm or construction firm involved in the design or construction of the project.

Fenestration Performance (NFRC Certification)

Per DC Energy Conservation Code (ECC) C303.1.3 & R303.1.3, the U-factor and SHGC of fenestration products shall be labeled and certified in accordance with NFRC. Fenestration is a defined term in the ECC and includes skylights, vertical windows, curtain walls, and storefront glazing. Products lacking such certification may use default value tables. Additional information on labels and certificate labels can be found at www.nfrc.org.

The technical requirements of the rating, certification and labeling program of NFRC 100 are set forth in the NFRC 700 Product Certification Program, and NFRC 705 Component Modeling Approach Product Certification Program.

Approved NFRC Labels and certificates

The U-value and SHGC must match labels and label certificate or be better than what is on the plans. CMA Bid Reports will not be accepted in lieu of a label certificate. The following are approved NFRC fenestration certificates that must be available at inspection. Below are examples of approved certificates:

NFRC Labels

Typically found on residential products.

NFRC Certified Window Label

NFRC Certified Window Label



NFRC Certified Door Label

NFRC Certificates: CMA Factory Built

Typically found on non-residential factory built products e.g. storefront system and curtain wall system.

NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 1

NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 1


NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 2

NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 2


NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 3

NFRC Label Certificate Example Page 3



Typically found on non-residential site built products e.g. storefront system and curtain wall system.

Site Built Label Certificate Example

Site Built Label Certificate Example


NFRC Applied Film Label Certificate Example

NFRC Applied Film Label Certificate Example


NFRC Manufacturer Certificate Example

NFRC Manufacturer Certificate Example

Building Leakage and Duct Leakage Testing

The 2017 residential provisions of the DC Energy Conservation Code (ECC)* require applicable projects to conduct building leakage and duct leakage testing. The Residential ECC covers all single family homes and townhouses, as well as multifamily buildings 3 stories or less above grade.  Blower door and duct leakage testing must be performed by an approved third party energy testing professional, as defined in this manual..

Get detailed information and Code language here...

Green Inspection Scheduler

GREEN Code Inspections

Inspections associated with the DC Green Code may be performed by the DCRA Personnel even if a third party inspection agency is conducting remaining inspections. The Green Building Division realizes the time pressures associated with many of these jobs, and is striving to provide very quick inspection scheduling -- next day scheduling is often available. Note that in certain circumstances other inspections may be scheduled here also, though in general they will be scheduled through the IVR telephone system.

To schedule an inspection, please go to

The Inspection Request form here

The Green Building Division is working diligently to keep our processes fast and simple. Please give us feedback (Contact Us) on what's going well, and how the experience might be improved.


Houses along Logan Circle