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Process Overview

The following section provides guidance to assist property owners and developers in getting their construction project through DCRA Green Building Division from design to occupancy. At each phase of the process we provide educational tools and resources to improve compliance with the building codes and laws. It is critical during early conceptual design phases of a construction project that green building requirements are considered and integrated into the plans.

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Design Process

Determine Applicability of Green and Energy Laws and Regulations

The design team is strongly encouraged to make this decision early in the design process, as there are different requirements in each code that may change design decisions.
Requests for Determination

If you would like an official determination for the requirements of your project, contact the Green Building Program at DCRA using Subject Line: “Request for Determination by the Code Official” at green.building@dc.gov.  Project teams will be required to submit the Green Determination Request, including all exhibits to get a complete determination.  Incomplete requests will be returned without determination.

Raze Process

DCRA requires project teams to submit a completed raze permit application.  Please use this Green Raze Attestation Form to start our process.  (form instructions)

Green Review Meeting

We offers optional one-on-one Green Review Meetings with a representative from the Green Building Division at no cost. To request a meeting, email the Green Building Division at green.building@dc.gov and provide the following information:

  •     contact name/firm or entity requesting the meeting
  •     phone number/email address
  •     scope of work being performed
  •     gross square footage of the project
  •     questions/agenda for meeting

The applicant will be given the next available date on the Green Review calendar. Green Review meetings will be scheduled once per week.  Each meeting will last approximately 60-90 minutes.

Preliminary Design Review Meetings

DCRA offers project teams a Preliminary Design Review Meetings (PDRM) with the various plan review disciplines at DCRA to customers for a fee.  PDRM’s are not mandatory, but can be very helpful in expediting development of a project. A representative from the Green Building Division attends all PDRM's.

To request a PDRM, contact the PDRM Coordinator, Arlette Howard, at arlette.howard@dc.gov and provide the following information:

  •     contact name/firm or entity requesting the meeting
  •     phone number/email address
  •     scope of work being performed
  •     gross square footage of the project
  •     questions/agenda for meeting

Permit Process

After a building permit application is submitted to DCRA, plan review workflow is assigned to the project.  All projects 10,000 square feet or greater are assigned "green reviews" and as applicable are reviewed to the Energy Conservation Code (ECC) and either the Green Building Act (GBA) or Green Construction Code (GCC). All projects less than 10,000 square feet are assigned an "energy review" and are reviewed to the Energy Conservation Code.

Learn more about what is required for "green review" and "energy review" in the Green Building Program Manual.

Third Party Plan Review
Click here for information regarding the third party plan review process.

Inspection Process

Energy Conservation Code Inspections

Energy Code Inspections are integrated into the existing inspections process and will occur as part of the inspections that are required for your building permit.The following are mandatory inspections for all projects subject to the (ECC):

  1.  Insulation Inspection: at the time of the first Building Insulation Inspection or after Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Rough inspections are complete but prior to installing drywall.
  2.  Energy Final Inspection: at the time of Building Final Inspection or after finishes, plumbing fixtures, and light controls are installed.

Green Construction Code and ASHRAE 189.1 Inspections

Green inspections are required on projects subject to the Green Construction Code (GCC) that have elected to pursue the GCC or ASHRAE 189.1 compliance pathways. Green inspections include a Green Demolition, Green Rough, and Green Final Inspection. When demolition is not part of a project's scope of work a Green Demolition Inspection is not required. Similarly, if a project is only performing demolition then a Green Rough-In and Green Final Inspection is not required.

The following clarifies when each inspection must be conducted.

  1. Demolition Inspection: at the time of indoor air quality plan implementation but prior to starting construction activities likely to produce dust or odors.
  2. Green Rough-In Inspection: at the time of the first Building Insulation Inspection or after Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Rough Inspections are complete but prior to installing drywall.
  3. Green Final Inspection: at the time of Building Final Inspection or after finishes, plumbing fixtures, and light controls are installed.

DCRA Green Construction Code inspections must be scheduled here.

Third Party Inspections

Click here for information regarding the third party Green and Energy inspections process.

Certificate of Occupancy Review Process

Projects regulated under either the Green Construction Code and Green Building Act will be reviewed by the DCRA Green Building Division at application for the first certificate of occupancy (CO) for a floor above grade and subsequent certificate of occupancies.  This includes Core and Shell CO, Conditional CO and temporary CO.

Process for Projects Subject to the Green Building Act

Green Building Act (GBA) (§ 6-1451.05 Financial security) 

Privately-Owned and Financed Projects:

  1. Division will review progress with LEED certification on LEED Online page

  2. Submit a financial security by one of four methods:

    1. Binding Pledge: a copy of the recorded pledge, signed by the project owner and the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General (OAG), is required to be submitted. The pledge agreement must be in a form approved by OAG.

    2. Green Bond: 80% of the amount of the potential fine posted as a bond benefitting the District is required to be submitted.

    3. Cash: 80% of the amount of the potential fine deposited into an escrow account in a financial institution in the District in the names of the applicant and the District.  A copy of the binding escrow agreement is required to be submitted.

    4. Irrevocable letter of Credit: 80% of the amount of the potential fine posted as in Irrevocable Letter of Credit benefitting the District is required to be submitted.Publicly-financed or Owned Projects

Publicly-Owned and Publicly Projects:

  1. Division will review progress with LEED certification on LEED Online page, or Enterprise Green Communities certification at Green Communities Online Portal, as applicable

Process for Projects Subject to the Green Construction Code

Green Construction Code Projects

  1. Demonstrate approved Preliminary and Final Green Inspections.  Click here to schedule green inspections.

  2. Verify the following documents have been reviewed and approved:

    1. Submit completed Construction Waste Management Form and haul receipts.

    2. Submit Indoor Air Quality Plan.

    3. As applicable, submit Material Selection Calculation.

    4. As applicable, submit Preliminary Commissioning Report.

Alternative Compliance Pathways

  1. Enterprise Green Communities

    • Confirm access to online Green Communities Certification Portal has been granted to DCRA and "Pre-build" approval has been certified by Enterprise.

      • If DCRA does not have access to the online portal, the Owner of the project must complete this waiver form, email it to Enterprise at certification@enterprisecommunity.org requesting DCRA have access to the online account for the project.

  2. LEED 

    1. Confirm access to LEED Online account has been granted to DCRA.

    2. DCRA may request an update on the project's LEED certification progress if the LEED Online does not show sufficient points have been attempted/awarded or there is no activity.

  3. National Green Building Standard (ICC 700)

    1. Submit a copy of the Rough and Final Inspection Report form from accredited verifier

    2. Submit a copy of Verification Report from accredited verifier

  4. ASHRAE 189.1

    1. Demonstrate approved Preliminary and Final Green Inspections.  Click here to schedule green inspections.

    2. Verify the following documents have been reviewed and approved:

      1. Submit completed Construction Waste Management Form and haul receipts.

      2. As applicable, submit Preliminary Commissioning Report.

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