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Green Building: Compliance

The following section provides resources and guidance on how to comply with the DC Energy Conservation Code, Green Construction Code and Green Building Act. An overview of DCRA's Green Building Program can be found in the Green Building Program Manual available for download here.

The 2013 DC Construction Codes, Green Building Act, and other applicable regulations can be found here.

Laws & Regs

The following is an overview of the green building codes and laws administered by DCRA. To view the 2013 DC Construction Codes, click here.

To request an official determination on what green building codes and laws are applicable to your project, email us at green.building@dc.gov with the Subject Line: “Request for Determination by the Code Official”.

2013 DC Building Code

The 2013 DC Building Code amended consists of the 2012 International Building Code as amended by the 2013 District of Columbia Building Code Supplement (12 DCMR A).

Administration language for the 2013 Energy Conservation Code and 2013 Green Construction Code can be found in sections 101.4.7 and 101.4.9, respectively.

GREEN BUILDING ACT

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 Green Construction Code.

2013 DC GREEN CONSTRUCTION CODE (GCC)

The 2013 DC Green Construction Code consists of the 2012 International Green Construction Code as amended by the District of Columbia 2013 Green Construction Code Supplement (12 DCMR K).  To determine applicability of the GCC to your project, review section 101.4.9 of the 2013 DC Building Code.

2013 DC Energy Conservation Code (ECC)

The 2013 DC Energy Conservation Code consists of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code as amended by the District of Columbia 2013 Energy Conservation Code Supplement (12 DCMR I).  

The ECC applies broadly to all residential and commercial buildings, the building sites, and associated systems and equipment and regulates the design and construction of buildings for the effective use and conservation of energy over the useful life of each building.   To determine applicability of the ECC to your project, review section 101.4.7 of the 2013 DC Building 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.

Energy Verification Sheets

An Energy Verification Worksheet (EVS) is submitted in the official plan set when applying for a building permit.   The EVS provides a transparent and consistent method of communication between the designers, code reviewers, and inspectors to show compliance with the DC Energy Conservation Code. By adhering to this guideline project teams will reduce permit reviewer questions and speed up the "energy review" and/or "green review" process.  

The following construction types must include an EVS in their plans:

Residential projects that are either (1) new construction, (2) addition or (3) level 1 - 3 alterations

Commercial projects that are either (1) new construction, (2) addition or (3) level 2 or 3 alteration

Please visit: Document Management System,. Use the drop down to access Green Building and Compliance-EVS to locate PDF versions of the Energy Verification Sheet.

 

Green & Energy Compliance System (GECS)

The Green & Energy Compliance System is a Google spreadsheet designed to assist design teams and builders meet Green & Energy Code requirements at plan review, inspections, and post-occupancy. Within the GECS, the GCCS sheet provides point-by-point confirmation of code compliance, facilitating communication & documentation between all parties. It will also generate inspection checklists that should help ease worksite concerns about addressing a new code. The other key component of the GECS are the Submittal Templates. These are the forms onto which design & build teams gather, organize, and submit the various information required for their project, as listed on the Submittal Checklist. [Please note the certain features of the GECS are still in development: particularly, the Energy Code components are not yet in place, and the Energy Verification Worksheet (EVS) still fulfills that role.

Get a GECS workbook for a new project by filling out the GECS Request form here.

The form will require the project address along with other distinguishing information, the permit number if you have one, and a valid Google account name (ideally). It will create your sheet, and share it with the Google account you've entered: please make sure it's a valid Google account. Note that gmail is not the same as a Google account (which can be connected to a gmail account, or to a different email account). Once it is shared with you, you can share it with other people on your team, either to view, comment, or edit. DCRA will retain ownership of the project's GECS workbook, and entries will function as submissions. In order to maintain security on the document, you should share it only with valid Google accounts. If you don't wish to use a Google account, or if you share it with a non-Google account, that will essentially turn off security & tracking, so it is not ideal but can accommodate such needs.

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

       Questions or suggestions?  Email green.building@dc.gov

 

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 on what's going well, and how the experience might be improved at green.building@dc.gov.

 

Incentives

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing tool in Washington DC that allows property owners to repay the cost of energy efficiency, water and renewable energy improvements over time through a special assessment placed on the property. DC PACE can cover 100% of project costs with no out-of-pocket payments and offers up to 20 year fixed rate financing at affordable terms for commercial, multi-family, or institutional buildings in DC. Both large and small energy projects can qualify. Visit DCPACE.com or contact them at: info@urbaningenuity.com

DC SUSTAINABLE ENERGY UTILITY (DCSEU)

Homeowners: Energy Use, Appliances, Audits and Insulation, Heating and Cooling, Electronics and Lighting.  Incentives, programs and tips on lowering your energy bill exist across these categories.

Business owners: Efficient Equipment, Affordable Housing and Benchmarking.  Incentives, programs and tips exist across these categories.

Department of energy and the Environment (DOEE)

Energy Assistance and Weatherization: Help with your energy and utility bills through financial assistance, discounts and late bill forgiveness programs. Programs available for both residential and commercial properties.

RiverSmart: Provide financial incentives to help District property owners install green infrastructure such as rain barrels, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavement, shade trees, and more. These green infrastructure practices allow rainwater to stay on site and soak into the ground, where natural processes help to remove pollutants. Programs available for both residential and commercial properties.

EnergySmart: A single resource for all you need to know about energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, products and services in the District of Columbia. Energy Smart DC is a single resource for all you need to know about energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, products and services in the District of Columbia.

GreenUp DC: An online tool to help District of Columbia property owners design, plan, and install green projects on their properties. You can lower your bills and protect the environment by saving energy and reducing stormwater runoff.

OFFICE OF PLANNING (OP)

Historic Preservation Home Owner Grants: For low- and moderate-income households living in specific historic districts. Grants will be awarded for exterior repairs, rehabilitation, and structural work on historic properties.  Work affecting sides of the house visible from public streets, which makes an appreciable difference in the appearance of the house, is encouraged.

Commissioning

Per Section 101.4.9.3 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.

Approved Commissioning Agencies

Per Section 902 of the DC Green Construction 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 can either be a “registered design professional” meeting the following requirements;

  1. Must be independent of the work of design and construction of this project (though may be an employee of the project design firm).
  2. Must not be an employee of, or contracted through, a contractor or construction manager holding construction contracts of this project.
  3. Must have prior experience commissioning a minimum of two (2) projects of similar scope. In this case, at a minimum two Commissioning reports of similar nature to the commissioning required for specific GCC project proposed to conduct CX on, must be provided to DCRA Green division for review prior to being authorized to conduct CX for DC-GCC.
  4. May be an employee or consultant of the owner of this project meeting the above requirements.

Or must meet the following credentials:

  1. 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 )
  2. Must be independent of the work of design and construction of this project (though may be an employee of the project design firm).
  3. Must not be an employee of, or contracted through, a contractor or construction manager holding construction contracts of this project.
  4. May be an employee or consultant of the owner of this project meeting the above requirements.

List of Approved Agencies

  • CTI Consultants, Inc.**
  • GPI**
  • Sustainable Building Partners(SBP)**
  • Steven Winter Associates**
  • A2 Services
  • Aero Building Solutions
  • Above Green
  • Advanced Building Performance
  • AKF
  • Amacommissioning + building systems,inc.
  • ARUP
  • Baumann Consulting
  • BKM
  • Brinjac Engineering     
  • Budova Engineering
  • Building Energeticx
  • Cannon Design
  • Cadmus
  • CFR Engineering
  • Chinook Systems Inc.
  • Colliers Project Leaders
  • Complete Commissioning
  • CPM Scheduling, LLC
  • CTA
  • Dewberry
  • DLR Group
  • Edison Energy
  • E2S (Energy Efficiency Services)
  • Facility Dynamics Engineering
  • GHT
  • HBS Solutions
  • Healthy Buildings
  • Henry Adams, LLC
  • Horizon Engineering Associates    
  • Interface Engineering, Inc.
  • Integrated and Open Systems
  • Jacobs Engineering
  • KK Engineering, LLC
  • KTA Group Inc.
  • Leach Wallace Associates, Inc.
  • Lilker EMO Energy Solutions
  • Loring Consulting Engineers
  • MaGrann Associates
  •  MEP Solutions
  • Paladino and Company
  • SETTY
  • The Stone House Group
  • TES Engineering
  • Thomas Baker + Associates
  • Thorson Baker + Associates    
  • WFT Engineering
  • Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
  • WSP
  • 4C Solutions

**Has attended commissioning training held by DCRA.

^ 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 101.4.9.4 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.

Submit your qualifications

Interested in being listed as a DCRA-approved commissioning agency?  Email the following to green.building@dc.gov:

  • Contact information (name, email, phone) for each qualified team member.
  • Evidence of commissioning provider certification or a minimum of two (2) commissioning reports for each qualified team member.
  • Acknowledge that you must be independent of the work of design and construction.
  • Acknowledge that you must not be an employee of, or contracted through, a contractor or construction manager holding construction contracts of the project.

Qualifications including commissioning provider certifications will be reviewed within one week. Qualifications including two sample reports will be reviewed within two weeks.

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.

2.1- 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.
  4. Certification of Compliance- Compliance with DC Energy Conservation Code C403 Building Mechanical System and C404 Service Water Heating sections.

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

 

Door+label.PNG

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

 

NFRC Certificates: CMA SITE BUILT

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

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.

 

Houses along Logan Circle