Construction Process

The following section provides guidance to assist property owners and developers in getting their construction project through DCRA from design to occupancy.  It is critical when a construction project is in early conceptual design phases, that green building requirements are considered and integrated into the plans.

construction_process

Design Process

Determine Applicability of Green and Energy Laws and Regulations

Requests for Determination

If you would like an official determination for the requirements of your project, contact the Green Building Program at DCRA using Subject Line: “Request for Determination by the Code Official” at green.building@dc.gov.  Project teams will be required to submit the Green Determination Request, including all exhibits to get a complete determination.  Incomplete requests will be returned without determination. 

Green Review Meeting

We offers optional one-on-one Green Review Meetings with a representative from the Green Building Division at no cost. To request a meeting, email the Green Building Division at green.building@dc.gov and provide the following information:

  • contact name/firm or entity requesting the meeting
  • phone number/email address
  • scope of work being performed
  • gross square footage of the project
  • questions/agenda for meeting

The applicant will be given the next available date on the Green Review calendar. Green Review meetings will be scheduled once per week.  Each meeting will last approximately 60-90 minutes.

Preliminary Design Review Meetings

DCRA offers project teams a Preliminary Design Review Meetings (PDRM) with the various plan review disciplines at DCRA to customers for a fee.  PDRM’s are not mandatory, but can be very helpful in expediting development of a project. A representative from the Green Building Division attends all PDRM's.

To request a PDRM, contact the PDRM Coordinator, Toni Taylor, at toni.taylor@dc.gov and provide the following information:

  • contact name/firm or entity requesting the meeting
  • phone number/email address
  • scope of work being performed
  • gross square footage of the project
  • questions/agenda for meeting

Permit Process

After a building permit application is submitted to DCRA, plan review workflow is assigned to the project.  All projects 10,000 square feet or greater are assigned "green reviews" and as applicable are reviewed to the Energy Conservation Code (ECC) and either the Green Building Act (GBA) or Green Construction Code (GCC). All projects less than 10,000 square feet are assigned an "energy review" and are reviewed to the Energy Conservation Code.

Learn more about what is required for "green review" and "energy review" in the Green Building Program Manual.

Green Third Party Plan Review

Third Party Plan Reviewers (TPPR) are permitted to complete "energy reviews".  TPPR companies are not permitted to complete "green reviews" (i.e. Green Building Act, Green Construction Code). 

Inspection PROCESS

Energy Conservation Code Inspections

Energy Code Inspections are integrated into the existing inspections process and will occur as part of the inspections that are required for your building permit.

Green Construction Code and ASHRAE 189.1 Inspections

For projects that must comply with the Green Construction Code (GCC) or ASHRAE 189.1, two inspections are required.

  1. Green Close-in/Rough-in: At the time of the first wall close-in inspection
  2. Green Final: At the time of the building final inspection

Green Code inspections should be scheduled with here.

Green Third Party Inspections

Energy Code Inspections are integrated into the existing inspections process for Third Party Inspectors (TPI).  Currently Third Party Inspectors cannot complete GCC or ASHRAE 189.1 inspections.

Certificate of Occupancy

The Green Construction Code and ASHRAE 189.1 requires a few submittals and verifications prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the project. The triggering certificate of occupancy will be the first certificate of occupancy for a floor above grade plane. Along with the application for the certificate of occupancy, the owner should submit the additional documents as applicable. 

Learn more about the required submittals in the Green Building Program Manual.

Post Occupancy

Historically most construction projects in the District of Columbia are complete with the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, however, there are requirements in the Green Building Act and Green Construction Code that require allow for verification after the certificate of occupancy has been issued. These final pieces of information verify the project’s compliance with some or all of its green building requirements. 

If you are satisfying the requirements by certifying to a third-party green building rating program such as LEED, ICC 700 or Enterprise Green Communities, you will need provide proof of certification one to two years, depending on which regulations you are required to comply with.

Learn more about the post occupnacy requirements in the Green Building Program Manual.