Article 22 Green Building Requirements & Dashboard

The City’s Green Building Requirements (Section 22.20 of the Zoning Ordinance) promote environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient design and development practices.  The requirements apply to developments of 25,000 square feet of more, including new construction and some types of substantial renovation. Applicants should review Section 22.20 carefully to determine what requirements apply.

Green Building Requirements were first adopted in 2010, following the recommendations of a Green Building/Zoning Task Force. The City Council adopted amendments to the Green Building Requirements in December, 2019.

Review Section 22.20 of the Zoning Ordinance here.

Overview

Developments subject to Green Building Requirements must demonstrate that they are designed to meet the standards of one of the following Green Building Rating Systems:

Certification by the rating agency is not required, but the developer must provide certification that the standards are being met from a Green Building Professional who meets both of the following qualifications:

  • Is a licensed architect or engineer.
  • Holds a credential from the applicable Green Building Rating Program (for example, LEED-Accredited Professional, Certified Passive House Consultant), or if the Green Building Rating Program does not offer such a credential, has experience as a project architect or engineer, or as a consultant providing third-party review, on at least three projects that have been certified using the applicable Green Building Rating Program.

Review definition of Green Building Professional in the Zoning Ordinance here.

Developments subject to Green Building Requirements must also implement an enhanced commissioning program and must submit an advisory “Net Zero Narrative” at the preliminary and final stage of review, reporting on initial and future projections for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and discussing how the project aligns with the City’s Net Zero Action Plan.

Note: Any project subject to Green Building Requirements must use the most current version of the selected Green Building Rating System, except that within 12 months from the adoption of a new version, there is the option to apply using either the most current version or the preceding version.

Application and Review Process

After reviewing Section 22.20, an applicant should submit an electronic draft copy (PDF) of the rating system checklist, rating system narrative, and Net Zero Narrative to the Community Development Department (CDD). CDD staff will then reach out to schedule a meeting to discuss the project and the Green Building Requirements. Send materials to greenbuilding@cambridgema.gov

Before each of the following stages of review, a full set of materials must be submitted to CDD to review and verify that the Green Building requirements are met. 

  • Stage I: Special Permit Application (if applicable)
  • Stage II: Building Permit Application
  • Stage III: Certificate of Occupancy Application

Within 30 days after receipt of a complete set of documentation, CDD will provide a written notice whether the documentation sufficiently demonstrates compliance. CDD may request additional materials including requests for information, clarifications and updates relative to building design phases (i.e., drawings at end of schematics, design development and construction documents).

Forms

CDD staff have prepared a checklist as a guide to applicants when assembling materials at different stages of review. CDD staff have also provided a “Net Zero Narrative” template. These are provided for guidance only. Applicants should review Section 22.20 carefully for detailed requirements. 

The following affidavit forms must also be completed and submitted at the respective stages of review:

Existing Projects

The Article 22 Open Data Set and Dashboard are designed to profile all projects that have been subject to the City's Green Building Requirements since its adoption. It is the City's intention that the data presented will provide insight as to how buildings are being designed in keeping with the City's initiatives on building energy use and efficiency, sustainability, and resiliency.

Green Building Dashboard
Green Building Dashboard
Green Building Open Data
Green Building Open Data

Note: The data and information presented here are accurate at the time of publication and subject to revision or retraction at any time. The Article 22 Green Building requirements apply standards developed by industry-recognized rating programs (such as LEED, Passive House, and Enterprise Green Communities) but do not mandate that projects seek certification by a rating agency.

For More Information

CDD staff are available to review draft materials and answer any questions throughout the process. For more information contact greenbuilding@cambridgema.gov.