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DC’s Green Building Requirements for Tax Credits and Funding, Explained

The District Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) recently updated their Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), which is required by the IRS for issuance of Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and their Request for Proposals (RFP), a companion piece that governs all other funds, both federal and local.

While there has been a large public focus on the $400 million increase in Housing Production Trust Fund announced by Mayor Bowser, another major development has been the change in green building requirements. DHCD is now requiring that all applicants for any public funding for affordable housing achieve more stringent energy efficiency targets.

New Construction (larger than 50,000 SF)

For new construction projects 50,000 square feet or larger, buildings must meet Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) Plus certification. The Plus level requires deeper levels of energy efficiency by certifying with near zero or zero energy programs such as DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH), Passive House International (PHI), or Passive House institute US (PHIUS) among other programs. Currently ZERH applies to projects five-stories or less, with an expanded multifamily version expected to be released for public comment in early 2022. EGC Plus certification also requires dehumidification strategies to address potential humidity concerns.

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Here’s What the Clean Energy DC Act Means for Existing Buildings in the District

Mayor signing legislationDistrict of Columbia Mayor, Muriel Bowser, signed a landmark piece of legislation known as the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act this past Friday. With the mayor’s signing, Washington, DC becomes one of the first jurisdictions in the country with a binding, comprehensive law aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “It allows us to make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of existing buildings in the District,” Mayor Bowser said at the signing ceremony.

The new law has several sections which will impact the buildings in which DC residents and businesses live and work. In this post, we’re going to focus on Title III of the Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act, which is designed to make the city’s existing buildings more efficient.

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How to Get Started with LEED for Homes and Multifamily Midrise Certification

Step 1: Understand the LEED for Homes process

The U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes™ and Multifamily Midrise™ Rating Systems to assess and validate residential green building practices.

The LEED for Homes and LEED for Homes Midrise certification process is outlined in this video provided by USGBC.

In addition to meeting the rating system requirements, every LEED Homes and Midrise project is inspected and tested during site inspections by credentialed LEED Homes Green Raters. Steven Winter maintains a team of 11 credentialed Green Raters serving 20 states including New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Massachusetts, and more.

How Does LEED Homes Compare to Other LEED Rating Systems? (more…)

New Year, New Beginnings: SWA Welcomes the Staff of Everyday Green!

We are thrilled to welcome Everyday Green to the SWA team! While working on green building projects in the Mid-Atlantic region over the past decade, I’ve consistently been impressed by their reputation for quality work and expertise. This is going to be a fantastic partnership at a time when the high performance buildings market is really taking off in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania!

Allow us to introduce you to our new staff in the Mid-Atlantic Region:

Andrea Foss

Andrea FossDirector of Sustainability Services – Mid Atlantic Region
Andrea will be Director of Sustainability Services—Mid-Atlantic Region. Andrea founded Everyday Green in 2008. She gained her in-depth understanding of green building working at the USGBC supporting the development of the LEED for Homes, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell and Existing Buildings rating systems.

Scott Pusey

Scott Pusey Senior Sustainability Consultant
Scott is trained and certified in advanced building science and building diagnostic testing. He is an expert troubleshooting energy efficiency problems and has extensive construction and site management experience.

Elliot Seibert

Elliot Seibert Senior Building Systems Engineer
Elliot is a mechanical engineer specializing in building science and energy efficiency. With ACCA training on mechanical systems design and performance, he specializes in assisting project teams with equipment selection and design.

Michael Feldman

Michael Feldman Sustainability Consultant
Michael is a civil engineer specializing in building science and performance. With a broad background in traditional and green building concepts, Michael specializes in on-site verification of energy efficient building practices.

Corrie Weikle

Corrie WeikleSustainability Consultant
Corrie is a sap for all things green and sustainable. She has a passion for guiding behavior change toward sustainable practices and has worked in both the non-profit and for profit industry developing resource conservation management (RCM) and environmental education programs.

Christopher Kramer

Christopher KramerSustainability Consultant
Chris is a HERS Rater and specializes in diagnostic testing and site inspections for new homes. Chris is also preparing to take his EIT certification exam.

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