- Providing incentives to site plan developments
- Asking for more energy efficiency, less environmental impact
- Requiring office buildings to earn energy performance certification to participate
- Reflecting goals of County’s Community Energy Plan
The Arlington County Board voted today to update its Green Building Incentive Program. The update emphasizes energy performance and reduced overall environmental impact for site plan developments that voluntarily seek incentives under the program. The Green Building Incentive Program is designed to encourage the construction of buildings that are more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable than buildings built to code.
“Building codes are being updated to require more energy efficient buildings,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our Green Building Incentive Program offers project developers the option of reaching beyond code requirements to achieve greater energy efficiency in return for increased density. This update ensures that we are making a fair trade of density for energy efficiency and overall environmental performance.”
The Board voted 4-1 to approve the updates.
LEED revisions led to County program’s update
The Green Building Incentive Program update was driven by revisions to the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building rating system, advances in green building technology, and the County’s own aggressive energy targets, as laid out in the Community Energy Plan.
Developers, members of the County’s Planning Commission and Environment and Energy Conservation Commission, architects, energy engineers, commercial leasing brokers and County planners helped shape the update to focus on improved energy efficiency in design and construction, and energy performance once the building is occupied. The update includes:
- Use of the new LEED Version 4 green building rating system, which accounts for changes in technology and building code updates and includes a separate rating system for multi-family buildings.
- More density available for office and multi-family site plan projects that address Arlington’s environmental priorities, including: greater energy efficiency, site ecology, stormwater management and building reuse.
- Incorporation of Energy Star certification as an energy performance component after the building is occupied.
- Incorporation of the Earthcraft rating system for projects seeking VHDA (Virginia Housing Development Authority) tax credits for affordable housing projects
- Incentive for Net Zero Energy development (Net Zero buildings generate as much clean energy onsite as they use over the course of a year)
The updated program is effective immediately, with an 11-month grandfathering period ending September 15, 2015. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #29 on the November 15, 2014 Regular County Board Meeting Agenda.
About Arlington’s Green Building Incentive Program
Arlington launched its Green Building Incentive Program in 2000 and has updated it four times since then to ensure that the program incents developers to build exemplary projects that meet stringent environmental standards. Since 2000, 56 site plan projects have agreed to achieve LEED certification. Nineteen of these buildings have been built, achieved their LEED commitments, and complied with the green building site plan conditions, and another 20 are under construction.