- Encourages higher levels of energy efficiency and LEED certification
- Supports community energy and smart growth goals
- Encourages market transformation to higher-performing green construction
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today strengthened its commitment to a sustainable community by approving an update to the voluntary Green Building Density Incentive Policy.
Building on the County’s Green Building Program success and recent advances in the green construction industry, the policy encourages both higher levels of energy efficiency and LEED green building certification. The update also addresses the building energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals outlined in the Community Energy Plan.
“Our Green Building Program is a voluntary program that is unique to Arlington,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “This update makes our program even better – providing incentives that will help keep Arlington a regional and national leader in green building and energy efficiency while helping owners and tenants save money through reduced energy costs.”
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the update to the voluntary Green Building Density Incentive Policy.
How it works
The revised policy has been strengthened to encourage development that achieves higher levels of energy efficiency above and beyond the requirement for LEED certification. Developers may request Floor Area Ratio (FAR) bonus – more density — for site plan projects in the County in exchange for a commitment to significant energy savings and certification with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program.
Commercial office projects must now be at least 20 percent more energy efficient and achieve LEED Silver certification, or higher. Multi-family residential buildings must achieve at least LEED Silver certification and be 18 percent more energy efficient. Each project will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The changes to the Green Building Bonus Density Incentive policy will motivate builders and developers to achieve exceptional energy efficiency while ensuring Arlington’s buildings are high-performing, healthy places to live and work.
About Arlington’s Green Building Program
Originally adopted in 1999 and updated in 2003 and 2009, the Green Building program has been an effective tool for reducing the environmental impacts of buildings on the community. Since the first LEED bonus density project was approved in 2001, 27 projects (or about one-third of all site plan projects) have been awarded additional density in exchange for an agreement to achieve LEED certification. Of these 27 buildings, seven have completed construction, achieved their LEED commitments, and complied with the green building site plan conditions in exchange for bonus density.
The Green Building Program and incentive policy are based on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as a means of evaluating proposed site plan projects and encouraging the construction of energy efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings. The Green Building Program is reviewed (and updated if appropriate) at least every three years to ensure that the program remains current with emerging green building technologies, national trends, and the needs of the community.
To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 42 on the Regular County Board Meeting Agenda for June 16, 2012.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation’s Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency’s highest award for “Smart Growth” in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world – including the Pentagon – Arlington stands out as one of America’s preeminent places to live, visit and do business.