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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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City of Dallas - Residential and Commercial Green Building Requirements   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/14/2014
Program Overview:
State: Texas
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Roofs, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Unspecified Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Multi-Family Residential
Residential Code:See options describe below
Commercial Code:2012 International Green Construction Code
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Ordinance No. 27131
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Ordinance No. 27759
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Ordinance No. 28386
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
Ordinance No. 28813

In April 2008, the City of Dallas enacted a Green Building Program (see Ordinance No. 27131), which required all new buildings to meet enhanced energy efficiency standards. The program was implemented through two phases. Phase 1 became effective October 1, 2009, and Phase 2 became effective October 1, 2013 (as amended by Ordinance No. 28813).

Notably, Dallas became the first U.S. city to adopt the 2012 International Green Construction Code (with amendments, hereafter Dallas Green Construction Code) as mandatory for new commercial construction.

Residential Buildings

During Phase 1, new residential buildings (single family and duplex homes) were required to meet the minimum energy provisions required by the Dallas Energy Conservation Code. Compliance could be demonstrated either through modeling through Energy Systems Laboratory approved software or COMcheck or installing systems that had been certified by an accredited energy efficiency program and approved by the Energy Systems Laboratory (e.g., ENERGY STAR Program certification).

In Phase 2, all new buildings must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. comply with the International Code Council 700 National Green Building Standard,
  2. meet the performance requirements of ENERGY STAR for Homes to achieve a HERS rating of 75,
  3. achieve energy efficiency 15% above the requirements of the Dallas Energy Conservation Code,
  4. be U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certifiable under the LEED for homes standard,
  5. be Green Built Texas-certifiable, or
  6. meet an equivalent green building certification level as determined by the building official.

Buildings do not need to obtain formal certification. Proposed projects using the Green Built Texas standards must meet the energy use requirements by showing that energy consumption meets either the minimum requirements found in the Dallas Energy Conservation Code or a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score of 85.

Multifamily development may use LEED NC, LEED for Homes, Green Built Texas, or an equivalent green building standard.

Commercial Buildings

During Phase 1, buildings that have less than 50,000 square feet of flooring were required to meet minimum energy consumption required by the Dallas Energy Conservation Code. In addition, any roof that has a slope of 2:12 inches or less were required to qualify as an Energy Star Cool Roof.

Buildings that are larger than 50,000 square feet must submit a LEED scorecard demonstrating that they have incorporated a number of LEED credits. The type of project determines the number of points that must be obtained.

For Phase 2, commercial buildings of any size must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. comply with the Dallas Green Construction Code,
  2. be LEED certifiable,
  3. be Green Built Texas-certifiable, or
  4. be certifiable under an equivalent green building standard.

Buildings do not need to obtain formal certification.

Expedited Permitting for Green Buildings

For expedited plan review under Phase 2, a project must comply with the minimum standards for the 2012 International Green Construction Code or ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011 or be eligible to obtain a LEED silver or higher certification (or an equivalent certification under another approved green building standard).

  Zaida Basora, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
City of Dallas Public Works Department
Facilities Architecture and Engineering
320 E. Jefferson Blvd., Room 321
Dallas, TX 75203
Phone: (214) 948-5360
  Lloyd Denman, P.E.
Dallas Sustainable Development & Construction
320 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Room 204
Dallas, TX 75203
Phone: (214) 948-4354
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

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