LEED Certification

LEED Legislation by City: See Where LEED Certification is Required

Many federal and municipal buildings require LEED Certification. See if your area has a requirement!

LEED Legislation by City: See Where LEED Certification is Required

We first wrote about the local ordinances requiring LEED in 2009. Given the ever-changing landscape of the green building industry, it seemed appropriate to provide an update. We’ve scoured the Internet trying to find all the LEED legislation for U.S. geographies that require and/or support LEED Certification – if you know of any additional locations that fit this criteria, please let us know!! Drop us a note on Twitter at @everblue_edu. Also, please see our list of sources at the very bottom of this post. Now, let’s begin…

  1. AZ – Phoenix: The Phoenix City Building Standards Revision (2005) requires all new municipal buildings built with 2006 Bond Funds to be LEED Certified, and in 2006, the City Building Standards were revised to include additional efficiency measures.1
  2. CA – Sacramento: Resolution 2004-751 (2004) requires the highest level of LEED Certification possible for all city projects, but LEED Silver should be the goal for projects over 5,000 sq ft.1
  3. CA – San Diego: CMR 02-060 and Council Policy 900-14 require all new city facilities and major building renovation projects over 5,000 sq ft achieve LEED Silver certification.2
  4. CA – San Francisco: The San Francisco Green Building Ordinance (2008) requires commercial buildings between 5,000-25,000 sq ft to complete a LEED Checklist. Newly constructed and renovated commercial buildings over 25,000 sq ft must be LEED Certified, increasing to LEED Silver in 2009, and LEED Gold in 2012. Ordinance N 88-04 (2004) already required all municipal new construction, additions, and major renovation projects over 5,000 sq ft to achieve LEED Silver Certification. The Director’s Bulletin 2006-02 (2006) gives priority permit review to all new and renovated buildings that achieve LEED Gold certification.1
  5. CA – San Jose: The San Jose Green Building Ordinance (2009) requires new commercial and industrial buildings under 25,000 sq ft to submit a LEED Checklist. New commercial or industrial buildings of 25,000 sq ft or larger must achieve LEED Silver. Projects requiring LEED Certification must pay a deposit to ensure that the building will achieve the requirements.1
  6. CO – Denver: EO 123 in 2007 requires new municipal building construction over 5,000 sq ft and major renovations to earn LEED for New Construction Silver Certification. Denver also requires all existing and future municipal facilities to be maintained and operated using all appropriate LEED for Existing Buildings principles.1
  7. CT – Stamford: Stamford Ordinance 1071 (2007) requires all city-owned buildings over 5,000 sq ft and buildings where the city leases at least 50% of total space to earn LEED Silver or higher.1
  8. DC – Washington: The Green Building Act, revised in 2012, updates and amends the Green Building Act of 2006 by providing that public schools shall aspire to meet LEED for Schools at the Gold level or higher and by imposing fines on private commercial buildings that do not provide proof that the project is LEED certifiable within 2 years of receipt of occupancy. Resolution 71-07 (2007) recommends that all new local government facilities constructed in the metropolitan area earn LEED Silver certification and all new private commercial development earn LEED Certified.1
  9. FL – Coral Gables: City of Coral Gables, Florida requires all newly constructed buildings 20,000 square feet and larger to be LEED certified.
  10. FL – Jacksonville: Regulatory applications by landowners with green certification shall be given priority over other applications. All new city buildings or major renovations of existing city buildings must obtain some kind of green certification – either from USGBC or from another certifying agency.3
  11. FL – Miami: Municipal Code Ordinance Article III (2009) requires all new private development over 50,000 sq ft to achieve LEED Silver and requires the owner to post a performance bond to guarantee LEED Silver Certification, but also provides density bonuses for projects that achieve LEED Gold or Platinum.1
  12. FL – St. Petersburg: On April 26, 2019, the City adopted Ordinance No. 359-H, which requires City-owned buildings over 5,000 square feet, which are either existing or being substantially modified or are being newly constructed, to achieve a rating of LEED Gold from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  13. FL – Tampa: Ordinance 2008-111 requires all new municipal buildings over 5,000 sq ft of air-conditioned space to earn a minimum of LEED Silver certification and that the renovation of all municipal buildings follow LEED guidelines, while also offering developers of commercial and multi-family residential buildings a 20-80% rebate on building permit fees, depending on the level of LEED Certification. The City of Tampa Strategic Action Plan (2006) offers a density bonus (1.5 FAR maximum) to developers in the Channel District who achieve LEED certification due to the development’s elements of “community enhancement.”1
  14. GA – Atlanta: All major renovations and new construction of city-owned facilities over 5,000 sq ft are required to earn a LEED New Construction Silver Certification or greater. All existing city-owned facilities larger than 25,000 sq ft are required to earn the LEED Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Certification.
  15. ID – Ketchum: Local building code requires LEED Silver Certification on new residential construction and additions.
  16. IL – Chicago: Commercial projects striving for LEED Certification will receive their permits within 30 days, while those striving for higher levels of LEED certification will receive an expedited permit and are eligible to receive a partial payment waiver up to $25,000.1
  17. IN – Indianapolis: Reduced or rebated permitted fees for certified green building projects.3
  18. KY – Louisville: Developers receive a “sustainable permit” designation if half their square footage meets the standards of LEED or other green building organizations.3
  19. MA – Boston: Boston Zoning Article 37 requires that all projects achieve at least the “certifiable” level utilizing the most appropriate LEED Rating System(s).4
  20. MD – Baltimore: All city and city-funded projects greater than 10,000 sq ft and commercial buildings or multi-family residential buildings greater than 10,000 sq ft budgeted or permitted after July 1, 2009 must achieve LEED Silver.1
  21. MO – Kansas City: City passed Ordinance 110235 in 2011 as an update to the city’s existing requirement for all new municipal buildings over 5,000 sq ft to earn LEED Silver Certification – LEED Gold is the new requirement.1
  22. MO – St. Louis: Ordinance 67414 (2007) requires all newly constructed and renovated municipal facilities greater than 5,000 sq ft to earn LEED Silver certification and directs the city to apply the principles included in LEED for New Construction, LEED for Commercial Interiors, and LEED for Existing Buildings during retrofit and renovation of existing municipal facilities.1
  23. NM – Albuquerque: All city building construction projects and major remodels over 5,000 sq ft, with a 341,300 BTU per hour connected energy load or with a 50 kilowatt or greater service capacity shall receive LEED Silver Certification.3
  24. NV – Las Vegas: Reduced or rebated permitted fees for certified green building projects.3
  25. NY – Manhattan: Local Law 86 requires all municipal construction over $2 M to earn LEED Silver Certification and non-residential capital projects costing over $2 M and partially funded by the city must earn LEED Silver Certification, while schools and hospitals earn LEED Certified.1
  26. OH – Columbus: Reimburses the costs of LEED Certification3
  27. OR – Portland: Resolution 243213 (2009) requires all new city construction to meet LEED Gold standards and all interior improvements to city buildings to use a city guide and/or achieve Silver for LEED for Commercial Interiors, while all existing city buildings are to pursue Silver certification under LEED for Existing Buildings and all bureaus must use LEED for Existing Buildings as a guide. Resolution 6262 (2005) requires all private development over 10,000 sq ft and receiving financial assistance from the PDC and other public agencies, including fee or tax waivers, equal or greater to 10% of the total project cost, to earn LEED Silver certification.1
  28. PA – Philadelphia: Philadelphia Zoning Commission Final Report (2011) provides a floor area density bonus to construction projects that attain LEED Platinum or Gold certification. Bill 080025, passed in 2009, requires all new municipal buildings over 10,000 sq ft to achieve LEED Silver certification and to use 20% less energy than basic, code-compliant structures.1
  29. PA – Pittsburgh: Ordinance 2008-0027, passed in 2009, requires all projects receiving Tax Increment Financing and all new construction on municipal property of 10,000 sq ft or costing in excess of $2 M, to achieve LEED Silver certification. The Pittsburgh Sustainable Development Bonus, passed in 2007, grants a density bonus of an additional 20% FAR and an additional variance of 20% of the permitted height for projects that earn LEED NC or LEED CS certification in all nonresidential zoning districts.1
  30. TN – Memphis: In Memphis’s “sustainable subdivision” zone, 10% of the square footage must be LEED certified.3
  31. TN – Nashville: Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County, TN mandates LEED Silver Certification for projects that exceed 5,000 sq ft of occupied space or for which the total project cost exceeds $2 M.3
  32. TX – Dallas: The City of Dallas Green Building Ordinance, passed in 2008, requires that new commercial construction greater than 50,000 sq ft must attempt to achieve a number of priority LEED credits. Expedited permitting is available for all covered projects, and after 2011, all new residential and commercial construction must submit a completed scorecard for one of the approved rating systems.1
  33. TX – El Paso: New construction and major renovations of City-owned, occupied, or funded buildings over 5,000 sq ft must earn LEED Silver certification.4
  34. TX – Houston: Resolution 2004-15 in 2004 requires that all city-owned buildings and facilities over 10,000 sq ft shall use LEED to the greatest extent practical and reasonable, with a target of LEED Silver Certification.1
  35. WA – Seattle: Ordinance 122054 (2006) provides a height or density bonus to commercial or residential projects that achieve at least LEED Silver certification and contribute to affordable housing. The Seattle Green Building Incentive Policy (2002) requires LEED Silver certification of all city-owned projects and renovations over 5,000 sq ft and encourages private construction to use LEED standards in new and existing buildings by providing economic incentives.1

1 National Green Building Adoption Index 2014 – CBRE

2 City of San Diego, California Council Policy

3 How Often Do Cities Mandate Smart Growth or Green Building? by Michael Lewyn and Kristoffer Jackson, October 2014

3 Article 37 Green Building and Climate Resiliency Guidelines

4 City of El Paso, Texas Agenda

And finally…

If you’re looking for more of a broad overview of LEED legislation for your state, see this map created by the Construction Data Company.

Map of states with LEED Certification requirements

Register now for LEED Green Associate

About Lesley Baulding

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.