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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.

Guidance Documents

Green Building Bonus Density Program

New development project teams may request additional bonus density and/or height in exchange for green building certification as outlined below.

For projects accepted by the County Manager prior to September 30, 2015, this program applies:

LEED version 2009 Office – 20% EE* Residential – 18% EE
Silver 0.20 FAR** 0.25 FAR
Gold 0.35 0.40
Platinum 0.45 0.50

*EE – 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.

For projects accepted by the County Manager after September 30, 2015, this program must be used:

LEED version 4 Office* or Residential Two Arlington Priority Credits Total Bonus FAR Available
Silver 0.25 FAR + 0.05 FAR 0.30
Gold 0.35 + 0.05 FAR 0.40
Platinum 0.50 + 0.05 FAR 0.55

* All participating office projects are required to achieve ENERGY STAR building certification based on actual energy use.

Additional bonus FAR is available for specific achievements that address energy, site ecology, and building material and reuse. Please see the specific list of options on page 13 of the Green Building Incentive Policy approved by the Arlington County Board on November 15, 2014.




For more information, please contact Joan Kelsch at 

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