Green Building Incentive Policy 2020 Update

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The Arlington County Board updated Arlington’s Green Building Incentive Policy on December 12, 2020.  The policy offers site plan developers bonus density in exchange for LEED Gold certification, additional energy requirements, and other environmental components.  The policy was updated to keep up with changes to the building code, LEED rating system, technology, and market trends.

Please note: Site plan projects accepted after March 30, 2021 were required to use the updated Policy and associated criteria.

New development project teams may request additional bonus density and/or height in exchange for green building certification as outlined below.

Regardless of the FAR being pursued, the County's Green Building Incentive Program requires the following:

  • LEED Gold v4 or v4.1
  • Energy Optimization Performance
  • Baseline Prerequisites

The following requirements depend on the FAR being pursued:

0.25 FAR 0.35 FAR 0.45 FAR 0.55 FAR 0.70 FAR
  • ENERGY STAR Score 75 - or - LEED site EUI verification
  • ENERGY STAR Score 80 - or-LEED site EUI verification
  • ENERGY STAR Score 85 - or- LEED site EUI verification
  • ENERGY STAR Score 90 - or- LEED site EUI verification
  • ILFI Zero Energy - or - Zero Carbon Certification
  • Minimum Program Requirements include ENERGY STAR certification for commercial office, 10 years of energy reporting, and ENERGY STAR lighting and appliances for multifamily. Please see 2020 Board Report(PDF, 585KB) for more information.
  • 0.35 - 0.55 FAR includes 3-6 Extra List Items. See 2020 Board Report for more information below.
  • 0.45 and 0.55 FAR include a second option. See 2020 Board Report for more information below.


Clarification: Residential projects that earn bonus density in exchange for Energy Star certification with a score of 75 do so using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The Energy Star score is based on post-occupancy energy utility data. This is not certification through the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Program (New Construction).

Update for Multifamily Developments Requesting Green Building Bonus Density

Multifamily developments may now use either the LEED for Homes Multifamily or Earthcraft Virginia green building rating systems. See the full interpretation here.

Green Building Update to 4.1 Site Plan Projects (September 21, 2019)

An update to the Green Building Density Incentive program adds Zero Carbon certification as an option for building developers to earn bonus density.

See links below and if you have additional questions or comments, please email Victoria Keichel and

New Projects

Guidance Documents for Approved Projects