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Green Buildings – New Construction

Arlington County encourages developers to build high performance green buildings to reduce environmental impacts in our community.

The County’s voluntary green building program uses the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building rating system as a standard to measure the comprehensive green approach of each project.  Site plan projects are development projects seeking a special exception to the Zoning Ordinance and are eligible for participation in the program. Each project is evaluated on  a case-by-case basis.

UPDATE!  The County Board will consider proposed changes to the Green Building Incentive Policy at the November 15, 2014 Board meeting. For questions contact Joan Kelsch ( or Jessica Abralind (

Guidance Documents

Please note: All projects accepted by the County through the Admin Reg 4.1 process, must reflect the updated version of LEED (Version 2009).


Green Building Bonus Density Program
New development project teams may request additional bonus density and/or height in exchange for a minimum level of energy savings and LEED green building certification as follows:

LEED Level Prior to June 16, 2012 After June 16, 2012
Office Residential Office – 20% EE Residential – 18% EE
Certified 0.05 FAR 0.10 FAR n/a n/a
Silver 0.15 FAR 0.20 FAR 0.20 FAR 0.25 FAR
Gold 0.35 0.4 0.35 0.4
Platinum 0.45 0.5 0.45 0.5

Energy Efficiency (EE)
– All levels of LEED certification, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, will require the minimum level of energy savings above the baseline ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard as defined under LEED EA credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance in the LEED 2009 rating system. Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is defined as the gross floor area (square feet) divided by (÷) site area for density purposes. An additional 0.10 FAR may be awarded to buildings that commit to LEED certification plus either ENERGY STAR building certification or LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification, both of which are based on actual energy usage. All bonus density project owners will also be asked to provide ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager utility reporting data after occupancy each year for 10 years.  These data are provided for informational purposes only. Learn more about Arlington County’s Green Building Program History here.

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