Green Building Requirements

LEED guidelines chart page 1
Green Bldg Flowchart

The City uses green building requirements to promote environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient design and development practices.  The requirement extend to both new construction and renovation projects. The regulations include design standards that apply to new construction and renovation projects of a significant size.

Through this requirement the City is to encourages:

  • the reuse of existing buildings and materials;
  • the conservation of natural resources and reduction of toxins in new construction and substantial rehabilitation of existing buildings through selection of recycled and otherwise environmentally appropriate building materials and methods; 
  • reduction in the use of energy in both the initial construction of the project and in its daily operation;
  • an arrangement of buildings and mix of uses, on individual lots and within the city as a whole, that will foster pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit use in the city.

Use this flowchart to learn more about the Green Building Requirements found in the Article 22 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Review Article 22 of the Zoning Ordinance here.

Pre-Application Staff Review

1. Prior to Pre-Application Staff Review, an applicant must submit an electronic copy (PDF) of the narrative and checklist.

2. Schedule a meeting with Community Development Department (CDD) staff to determine requirements for the application (contact: greenbuilding@cambridgema.gov)

3.  Submit preliminary LEED checklist and narrative.

Special Permit Requirement (if special permit required)

1. LEED checklist updated to reflect the project as modified during development consultation

2. Updated narrative to reflect changes 

  • The narrative must describe how all LEED pre-requisites will be met.
  • The narrative must address each LEED credit that the project intends to achieve. 
  • Please do not simply repeat the credit requirement from LEED guidelines provided by USGBC. The narrative must provide a description of measures and mechanisms that the project will utilize to meet the credit requirement. Please reference the relevant page/section in your supporting documents. 
  • The text provided in the narrative must be consistent with the information in the project drawings and must cross reference materials, where appropriate, to direct reviewers to relevant drawings. 
  • A printout of the LEED online worksheet may not be used as a substitute for the narrative. 
  • List of team members and their roles. 
  • Summary of the energy model inputs. 

3.  LEED-AP project manager’s affidavit that the building has been designed to meet all LEED prerequisites and credits as stated in the checklist and narrative. 

4.  A copy of the LEED AP certificate

5. Sample LEED documentation 

Building Permit Requirement

1.  Updated checklist to reflect the design changes 

2.  Updated narrative to reflect the design changes

  • The narrative must describe how all LEED pre-requisites are met. 
  • The narrative must address each LEED credit that the project intends to achieve. 
  • The narrative should not simply repeat the credit requirement from the USGBC. It must provide a description of measures and mechanisms that the project will utilize to meet the credit requirement. 
  • The text provided in the narrative must be consistent with the information in the project drawings and must cross reference materials, where appropriate, to direct reviewers to relevant drawings and specs. Please reference the relevant page/section in your supporting documents. 
  • A printout of the LEED online worksheet may not be used as a substitute for the narrative. 
  • Provide a list of team members and their roles. 
  • Summary report of the energy model must be provided to demonstrate compliance with EA prerequisite and credits.

3.  LEED-AP project manager’s affidavit that the building has been designed and built to meet all LEED prerequisites and credits as stated in the checklist and narrative. 

4.  Sample LEED documentation 

Certificate of Occupancy Requirement

1.  Final LEED checklist updated to reflect the project as built 

2.  Updated narrative to reflect the project as built 

  • The narrative must describe how all LEED pre-requisites are met. 
  • The narrative must address each LEED credit that the project intends to achieve. 
  • The narrative should not simply repeat the credit requirement form USGBC. It must provide a description of measures and mechanisms that the project will utilize to meet the credit requirement. 
  • The text provided in the narrative must be consistent with the information in the project drawings and must cross reference materials, where appropriate, to direct reviewers to relevant drawings and specs. 
  • A printout of the LEED online worksheet may not be used as a substitute for the narrative. 
  • Provide a list of team members and their roles. 
  • Summary results of the energy model must be provided to demonstrate compliance with EA prerequisite and credits. 
  • Commissioning report/CA sign off should be submitted with the Certificate of Occupancy package.

3.  LEED-AP project manager’s affidavit that the building has been designed and built to meet all LEED prerequisites and credits as stated in the checklist and narrative. 

4.  Sample LEED documentation 

For More Information

For more information please email greenbuilding@cambridgema.gov.