Third Party Green and energy code Plan Review Process

Updated 4/7/2017

The following section provides official guidance on the new process for third party plan review to the Green Construction Code and Energy Conservation Code.  Information is presented in chronological order.  Please email green.building@dc.gov with any questions. Click here for additional information on the DCRA Third Party Program.

Step 1: Green Determination Request

DCRA strongly recommends the Owner complete and submit a Green Determination Request to the DCRA Green Building Division prior to submitting the NOI.  This allows for a timely review of the NOI, clear design guidance for the project team, and clear guidance for the Third Party Agency (TPA) on their role in the "green review."    The Green Determination Request can be emailed to green.building@dc.gov and is typically turned around in 1 week.

Step 2: Submitting Notice of Intent to use Third Party Plan Review Agency

The Owner or Owner’s Representative submits a Notice of Intent (NOI) to use a TPA.  As part of the NOI submittal, the applicant includes a completed and signed Green Determination Request.

Step 3A: Energy Review Process

A TPA must complete the energy review for every project.  Use the following guidance on how to complete an energy review.

  1. Review to the current DC Energy Conservation Code (IECC or ASHRAE 90.1),
  2. Ensure the appropriate Energy Verification Sheet is filled out correctly, is located in the drawing set, and referenced in the drawing index,
  3. Reference and apply the Energy Code Reference Guide (when available)
  4. Reference and apply Energy Code Interpretations
  5. Collect and review all necessary documentation relative to the drawings, such as but not limited to:
    1. Interior and Exterior Lighting Power Density calculations via COMCheck
    2. Envelope COMCheck, as applicable
    3. Load Sizing Calculations
    4. Energy Model Inputs and Outputs
    5. Architectural and Manufacturer Specifications, as applicable

If the primary TPA is not approved to conduct energy review, an approved TPA must be subcontracted by the primary TPA or the Owner must file a separate NOI with an approved TPA for energy review.  A list of approved TPA's can be found here.  

Step 3B: Green Review Process

Based on the Green Determination Request, an approved TPA must adhere to the following procedures.  If the primary TPA is not approved to conduct green review an approved TPA must be subcontracted by the primary TPA or the Owner must file a separate NOI with an approved TPA for green review.  A list of approved TPA's can be found here.  

Projects required to comply with the Green Code will need to specify which pathway they are choosing at the time of the NOI.  Depending on the pathway, the following is required when a complete third party plan review and files for a permit.  Please note, projects required to comply with the DC Green Building Act will have a green review conducted by DCRA. 

  1. Green Construction Code (GCC): 
    1. Complete a Green and Energy Code Compliance Sheet (GECS).
    2. Complete a holistic review to the DC Green Construction Code (additional guidance coming soon).
  2. Alternative Compliance with LEED:
    1. Grant DCRA access to the LEED Online account to green.building@dc.gov.
    2. LEED online Scorecard should indicate the minimum number of points are being attempted.  
    3. DCRA will review to ensure that the correct rating system has been chosen and Scorecard is acceptable.
      1. In the case of LEED for Homes and LEED for Homes Multifamily, provide a LEED Scorecard and the signed contract with the LEED Green Rater. 
  3. Alternate Compliance with Enterprise Green Communities: 
    1. Grant DCRA access to the Green Communities account at green.building@dc.gov.  To grant DCRA acces, complete this form and send to Enterprise at certification@enterprisecommunity.org.
    2. Obtain “Pre-build” approval from Enterprise. 
  4. Alternate Compliance with ICC-700 and Energy Star
    1. Provide a filled out Green Scoring Tool.
    2. Provide a signed contract with the NGBS Verifier.
  5. Alternate Compliance with ASHRAE 189.1:
    1. Complete a holistic review to ASHRAE 189.1.

Step 4: Building Permit Intake

The project comes in for their building permit.  The Owner is required to submit the following documents:

  1. Plan Review Deficiency Report in compliance with the current Third Party Program Manual.
  2. Items outlined in Step 3, as applicable.
  3. Upload relevant supporting documents to ProjectDOX (e.g. energy model, COMCheck, load sizing calculations).

Step 5: DCRA Quality Oversight

After building permit intake, DCRA will administer the oversight protocol of the Third Party Agency, Professional-in-charge and plan reviewer in accordance with the Manual.  If the project is found to not be in compliance DCRA will:

  1. Hold for Comments (HFC) on the current submission and have the design team correct the issue.
  2. Send feedback to Third Party Review Agency for lessons learned.
  3. Record errors associated with the review and apply disciplinary measures per the Manual.