Implementing the DC Green Construction Code

Following the adoption of the 2013 District of Columbia Construction Codes, including the new DC Green Construction Code, in March 2014, projects that must follow the “new” codes are underway and design teams are working their way through the transition. As a member of the Green Technical Advisory Group (TAG) that helped review and amend the Green Construction Code, I have been able to continue to collaborate with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the agency that oversees compliance with all DC construction codes. Below is a summary of updates to the DC Green Construction Code implementation process that may impact your project planning.

Green Review Team

DCRA has added a team that conducts Green Plan Reviews. They are tasked with checking for Energy Code and Green Code compliance, and according to DCRA’s website will:

  • Confirm which path the project is complying with and that they have the required documents
  • Review the project plans, specifications, and other documentation as applicable
  • Send comments to customer for edits, or approve plans

Green Building Submittal Form

As there are multiple options (and requirements) necessary to comply with DC’s various sustainable design requirements (e.g. the Green Building Act, Green Construction Code, LEED certification, etc.), DCRA is requiring an electronic checklist that tracks required documentation to be submitted with your permit application. The Green Building Submittal Form must be sent via email to, with a subject line that includes the permit number beginning with B14. This helps to convey the design team’s intended code-compliance path to the DCRA plan reviewers.

Energy Compliance Checklist

On February 1st, 2015, DCRA will begin requiring that an Energy Compliance Checklist be provided on all projects. As the Energy Code encompasses multiple disciplines, DCRA created a single sheet that directs the code reviewer to where each requirement is met. The submission also requires additional ComCheck outputs and HVAC load calculations on the drawings.

To assist design teams in completing this checklist, DCRA is hosting several training sessions early next year. The first session will be offered at AIA DC’s District Architecture Center on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, with additional sessions at DCRA’s office on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 and Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

As you work through the transition to the new DC Green Construction Codes, GHT can help. Contact us to schedule our AIA-accredited educational session in your office.


As a Senior Principal of GHT’s Interiors studio, Patrick Kunze, PE, LEED AP is committed to advancing sustainable design practices in the building industry. He contributed to the development of questions for the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) LEED AP exam, and as a voting member of the Green Technical Advisory Group (TAG) subcommittee of Washington DC’s Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCCB), he helped review and amend the DC Green Construction Code.