Fairfax County, Virginia toughens green standards

Fast-growing metro-D.C. county wants to be leader in sustainability

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently strengthened its green building policy, requiring higher standards for residential, retail, office and other construction projects seeking approval for rezoning.

The board’s chairman said that the county’s green building policy is “a major component of our board’s environmental agenda and my own efforts toward making Fairfax County a leader in energy efficiency.” The policy was updated to include changes that have been made in rating systems of green buildings.

LEED certification or equivalent programs have been extended to industrial areas under the plan, and for proposals in high density areas. The new plan also urges data collection of water and energy use within buildings and a requirement for infrastructure supporting electric car charging stations. Some board members cautioned that the new requirements could be too costly for developers.

Fairfax County first adopted a green building policy in 2007. The County government has built 16 green-certified buildings since 2008.


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