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Green Building

Information on green and sustainable building in Alexandria.

Green Building in Alexandria

In 2011, the City hosted a series of Green Building Workshops.  Topics included:  

  • Workshop #1 - Greening Your Home and Small Business
  • Workshop #2 - Energy Audits for Your Home and Small Business
  • Workshop #3 - Green Landscaping for You and the Chesapeake Bay                      
  • Workshop #4 - Green + Historic Buildings = Best of Both! 
  • Workshop #5 - Renewable Energy Systems and Green Power
  • Workshop #6 - Green Operations for Retail, Restaurants, and Small Offices

Click  here for videos, presentations, or handouts from the workshops and additional Green Bulding resources! 

City Council Adopts Green Building Policy 

At its April 18, 2009 public hearing ( link to Council docket), the City Council unanimously voted to adopt the proposed Green Building Policy.  Per this Policy, the City expects that all new development requiring a Development Site Plan or Development Special Use Permit will achieve a LEED Silver or an equivalent rating for non-residential development and LEED Certified or an equivalent rating for residential development.  More detail about the policy is provided below. 

The City recognizes that a commitment to green buildings does not stop with the adoption of this Policy.  A second phase is underway to identify methods that will encourage existing buildings to incorporate green improvements, such as through improved outreach and incentives.  Continue to check this website to learn more about this phase as it progresses.


Green Buildings have been identified by the City as a major component of its commitment to sustainable development. The City’s initiatives through its strategic plan, commitment to Green Building of City facilities, and the adoption and phased implementation of the Eco-City Charter lay the foundations for the wider adoption of Green Building practice in the City of Alexandria.

In July, 2007, as the first step in developing an overall approach and policy of Green Building standards for development throughout the City, the Department of Planning and Zoning commissioned a study of Green Building development standards, best practice case studies, and implementation programs, in order to help formulate a recommended course of action. A report titled  The Green Building White Paper for the City of Alexandria, dated December 25th 2007 was prepared as a result of that study. One of the major recommendations of the White Paper was that the City reach out to the development industry and the community to develop a sound understanding and reinforce its commitment to Green Building and sustainable development in the City.

A working group consisting of City staff (drawn from a cross section of relevant departments), builders, developers, and not-for-profit organizations was consequently established, and its members have been participating in structured meetings since June 2008, in order to lay the foundations for a Green Building policy. As part of the development of the policy, the City held a Green Building Form on January 28, 2009. Click to view the forum Program and Video.

Going "Green" in Alexandria


City residents can "go green" , reduce energy consumption, and save money by using a Kill A WattTM meter. Citizens now have access to meters through a collaborative effort between the City and the Alexandria Library. Click here to learn how to use a Kill A WattTM meter in your home or business. Check out the Eco-City E-News to find out where to pick up a meter and how to conserve energy costs!

A Greener Alexandria

Additional Green Building Links 

  • Builders Guide to Reuse & Recycling 
  • US Green Building Council.  The U.S. Green Building Council developed and implements the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. Links to the LEED process and scorecards can be found on this web site. 
  • Energy Star. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star home page. For resources on home performance using Energy Star appliances and additional publications on energy efficiency, click  here.
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation - Sustainability page  
  • National Green Building StandardTM. The National Green Building Standard defines green building for single and mulit-family homes, residential remodeling projects and site development projects.
  • Architecture 2030. Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was established in response to the global-warming crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the US and global Building Sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the global-warming crisis. Our goal is straightforward: to achieve a dramatic reduction in the global-warming-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.
  • Building Science Corporation. Building Science Corporation provides on-line information on a variety of green building topics, publications, seminars and consulting.
  • Earthcraft House. EarthCraft House,™ created in 1999, is a residential green building program of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association in partnership with Southface. This program serves as a blueprint for energy- and resource -efficient homes.
  • The Energy & Environmental Building Association. Mission statement: To provide education and resources to transform the residential design, development and construction industries to profitably deliver energy efficient and environmentally responsible buildings and communities.
  • Greener Product . Greener Product is the world’s first online platform that creates a vast marketplace for the analysis of sustainable and healthy building products. The site is one-stop resource is used by thousands of green professionals to research environmentally preferable building materials and to study vital information on how to use advanced building design to build green more effectively.