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Green Building in the District

Green Building in the District

Green building is an approach to design, construction and operations that conserves resources while it protects human health. Green buildings use less energy, consume fewer natural resources such as water and forest products, and emit fewer pollutants into the environment. The District is a national leader in green building, which supports the vision set forth in the Sustainable DC Plan. By continually encouraging market transformation, funding research that promotes innovation, and collaborating with the community and private sector on best practices DC will remain a leader in protecting our planet.

Green Building Policy

Green Building Fund Grant Program

DOEE has created a Green Building Fund Grant Program to support innovative projects to “green” the built environment in the District. Grant projects include those that concentrate on research, data analysis, training, or engagement that help the District lead the way in enacting innovative policies that drive toward greater social, environmental, and economic sustainability for our city. Learn more about the Green Building Grant Program.

Net-Zero Energy Buildings

Net-Zero Energy (NZE) buildings generate as much energy as they consume, annually. These buildings minimize their greenhouse gas contributions, are cheaper to operate, provide healthier and more pleasant places to live, work and play, and will be increasingly important components of the District’s climate action plan. Clean Energy DC, the District’s detailed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, calls for all new construction to achieve net-zero energy beginning in 2026. In light of this important goal, DOEE is committed to supporting projects pursuing NZE ahead of the statutory requirement.

Appendix Z of the 2017 DC Energy Conservation Code defines a net-zero energy building as “a highly energy-efficient building that produces on-site, or procures through the construction of new renewable energy generation, enough energy to meet or exceed the annual energy consumption of its operations.”

Local Resources

National Resources

Incentives and Financing

  • DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)
    Rebates, incentives, direct-installs, and technical assistance for energy retrofit projects on all building types. DCSEU also offers training, credentialing, and certification courses to District businesses to expand the local green workforce and local business opportunities.
  • DC Green Bank
    The goal of the DC Green Bank is to accelerate energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of clean energy technology by leveraging private investment, removing up-front costs, and increasing the efficiency of public dollars.
  • DC PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing
    Affordable, long-term funding for building upgrades and new construction that reduces utility bills and operating costs. Projects can receive up to 100% financing with no upfront costs to cover energy, water, and stormwater upgrades.
  • DOEE Green Building Innovation Assistance Grant Program
    Grant funding for innovative strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of the built environment in the District and increase industry knowledge and capacity to design, construct, and operate high-performing buildings.
  • Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator
    Enhanced technical and financial assistance to owners and managers of qualifying affordable multifamily buildings that do not meet the District’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS).
  • DCRA Net-Zero Energy Program
    Permitting assistance for projects pursuing net-zero energy.
  • DOEE RiverSmart
    Financial incentives to help District property owners install green infrastructure such as rain barrels, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavers, shade trees, and more.

Case Studies

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