July 2019

USGBC National Capital Region’s A Midsummer Night’s Green award winner

We are proud to announce that the DCRA Green Building Division team won the “Excellence in Government, Advocacy, or Policy” award at this year’s USGBC National Capital Region A Midsummer Night’s Green & Community Leaders Award ceremony.   

For seventeen years and counting, USGBC National Capital Region’s A Midsummer Night’s Green has brought together sustainability advocates from across the DC metro area to toast the best of the best in local green building. A Midsummer Night's Green features the announcement of the winners of our Community Leader Awards, which honor excellence in high-performance design, environmental stewardship and community impact.

The Green Building Division is recognized as a nationwide leader in Green Building and Energy Efficiency. Between enforcing the Green and Energy codes through rigorous plan review and inspections, this small but mighty team of sustainability professionals has launched several initiatives designed to move the green needle in the District. USGBC National Capital Chapter identified the Green Building Divisions introduction of the Districts first ever voluntary Net Zero Energy Program, designed to incentivize project teams focused on delivering net zero building in our community.

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2018 Energy Institution of the Year Award

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Green Building Division received the "Energy Institution of the Year Award" from the Association of Energy Engineers' (AEE) National Capital Chapter. An awards ceremony was held at George Washington University's Science and Engineering Hall.

The award is presented to a public sector entity for outstanding accomplishments in developing, organizing and implementing its comprehensive energy management program.

The Green Building Division received this year’s award for its coordination, introduction and enforcement of energy and green construction codes in the District; and the development of its voluntary residential Net Zero Energy program.

Founded in 1977, AEE is as a nonprofit professional society whose mission is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for "sustainable development."

Mayor Bowser Signs Executive Order Binding the District to the Paris Climate Accord

View Full Press Release

Monday, June 5, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a Mayor’s Order reaffirming Washington, DC’s support of the Paris Climate Accord. The Mayor’s Order renews Washington, DC’s commitment to the historic agreement to reduce global carbon emissions. Mayor Bowser was joined at the signing by local officials, federal partners, and environmental stakeholders.

“By signing this Mayor’s Order, we are standing with the growing list of U.S. states and cities that are taking local action for global results as we work to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our values didn’t change on Election Day. The effects of climate change are already here, and without proper planning and collaboration, they will be catastrophic. It is in the country's best interest to take climate change seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to create policies and implement programs that protect our environment.”

After President Trump announced last week that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, Mayor Bowser, along with nearly 200 U.S. Mayors representing 52 million Americans, committed to adopt, uphold, and honor the goals of the Paris Agreement. The mayors’ statement can be found at medium.com/@ClimateMayors.

“Now, more than ever, is the time for cities to step up to the plate. I'm proud to stand with Mayor Bowser as she commits to ensuring that Washington, DC is prepared to address the effects of climate change while bolstering our emerging green economy,” said Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells. 

Today’s event is the latest in a series of actions the Bowser Administration is taking to prepare for the effects of climate change and to ensure Washington, DC is sustainable and resilient for future generations. As a member of the C40 Cities, a network of the world’s largest cities to address climate change, the Bowser Administration pledged to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Over the past two years, the Administration launched Climate Ready DC to prepare the District for the effects of climate change; proposed the DC Green Bank which will help create jobs, expand solar power, lower energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; finalized the largest municipal wind power purchase agreement deal of its kind in the United States; and began work on the largest onsite municipal solar generation in the country.

DCRA Featured in Institute for Market for Transformation Code Blog

The DCRA Green Building Division was featured in the most recent blog post from Ryan Meres at the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT).  Meres states...

"The District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recently achieved a milestone no other building department has. In 2016, the department completed the second of two assessments evaluating its effectiveness at enforcing the District’s Energy Conservation Code. The findings presented a significant accomplishment:  DCRA improved its compliance rate with the energy code from 74 percent to 99 percent in just two years."

To read more, click here

DCRA Green Building Division Selected as a Team Finalist for the 15th Annual Cafritz Award

We are proud to announce that the Green Building Division at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory was selected as one of the team innovation finalists for the 15th Annual Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Awards for Distinguished DC Government Employees. The annual Awards program is designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance and exemplary service by DC Government employees. Established in 2000, the Awards honor individuals whose contributions have been exceptional and whose commitment and professionalism demonstrate the best in public service. 

To learn more about the Awards, visit the Cafritz Award website here

In 2015, the District Continues to Lead the Nation in LEED-certified Buildings

The following is taken from recent USGBC article

"USGBC has just released the 2015 Top 10 States for LEED, which names the U.S. states leading the nation in 2015 in sustainable building design, construction and transformation.

Now in its sixth year, this list is based on 2010 U.S. census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified in 2015. USGBC calculates the list using per capita figures to fairly compare states with significant differences in population and number of overall buildings. This approach provides a window into the impact of LEED activity on the lives of residents in these states over the course of a year."

"Washington, D.C. is not ranked, due to its status as a federal territory, but it continues to lead the nation in LEED-certified buildings, with 19.3 square feet of space per resident certified in 2015."  

Read full article here

USGBC Press Release here

District Receives Prestigious 2015 Standard Bearers Award for Energy Code Program

Official DCRA Press Release located here

The International Code Council (ICC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) announced this week that the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is the recipient of the 2015 Standard Bearers Award, a national program that recognizes innovation and leadership in the enforcement of energy code at the state and local level.

The award recognizes DCRA as a jurisdictional leader in energy code compliance for the work of the agency’s Green Building Division. The Green Building Division provides free energy code trainings, workshops and design review meetings to the public, in addition to developing resources such as the Green Building Roadmap which uses smart, cost-effective strategies to reduce energy consumption in District buildings.

“This award recognizes the District’s commitment to sustainable development and our efforts to cut energy costs that will save residents and businesses money,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “My administration will continue to identify innovative ways to work with the business community to ensure that requirements are clear, attainable and help the District of Columbia continue to be a national leader in sustainability and energy policy.”

Compliance with the energy code is critical to the Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC goal of achieving net-zero energy standards for all new and existing multifamily and commercial buildings. The codes will help ensure that structures not only reduce the monthly energy/water bills for owners, but also provide a safe and healthy environment for residents.

“The District has shown great leadership both in adopting progressive energy codes and enforcing them. We’re taking action and delivering measurable results with real impact,” said DCRA Director Melinda Bolling. “I’m very pleased that ICC has recognized the District for its commitment to a modern, energy-efficient built environment.”

Now in its fourth year, the Standard Bearers Award is presented by IMT and the ICC recognizing state and local jurisdictions and individuals who have raised compliance with energy codes and achieved energy reduction in buildings using smart, cost-effective strategies. For more information, please visit theInstitute for Market (IMT) Transformation website.

DC Leads Nation with Most ENERGY STAR Buildings

On March 25th, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2015 list of US metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings and the District of Columbia ranked number one, knocking Los Angeles, CA, out of the top spot for the first time since the program began in 2009. This achievement confirms the District’s commitment to providing building owners and managers with the technical guidance, best practices, and training they need to make their buildings more energy efficient, save money and cut pollution.

We're Up for the Challenge!

DCRA's Green Building Division enthusiastically took part in the official launch of the Smarter DC Challenge, the citywide program supported by the District of Columbia for businesses and organizations to improve their sustainability. Along with 200+ attendees, including more than 30 already-signed on organizations, the event featured remarks from Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment, Bill Updike, Interim Deputy Director for the Urban Sustainability Administration, Jeffrey Lesk, DC managing partner at Nixon Peabody law firm, Susan Kolodziejczyk, Senior Sustainability Executive at the National Geographic Society, Laurie McMahon, Vice Chairman of Real Estate firm DTZ, Robin-Eve Jasper, Executive Director for the NoMa Business Improvement District, as well as program managers, Patty Rose, Executive Director for Greenspace NCR and Anca Novacovici, President of Eco-Coach.

The Smarter DC Challenge is a simple, free and FUN commitment to improving our organization's sustainability and allows any business or organization to join in and compete regardless of their current benchmark. We are proud to be a part of the Challenge and invite you to join in as well. Sign up at:  www.smarterdcchallenge.com.