Understanding Decatur’s High Performance Building Ordinance

Understanding Decatur’s High Performance Building Ordinance

Since 2015 the City of Decatur, Georgia, has had a High Performance Building Ordinance, requiring green building certification for residential and commercial construction and renovation.

Developers and owners can certify residential projects under the National Green Building Standard, (Silver level for multifamily or Bronze for single family), EarthCraft, or LEED. Mid and high-rise multifamily projects may also opt for Green Globes at the Three Globes level.

Any project that meets the definition of a “Substantial Improvement” is required to be certified. Substantial Improvement is defined as any work that exceed 50% of the fair market value before improvement. Projects that add less than 20% new space and/or affect less than 85% of the building envelope can be exempt.

Multifamily and commercial projects may apply for an exemption to the ordinance if they meet one of several criteria, including total new or renovated area of less than 3,000 square feet, if a renovation is not substantial, if certification costs exceed 10% of construction costs, or if it is a historic structure and the program requirements would have a negative impact on the building.

Building air leakage testing and testing of ducts outside the building envelope is required on all residential projects. Homes must also meet ASHRAE 62.2 2010 ventilation requirements.

Commercial new construction and renovation exceeding 3,000 SF, or renovations that exceed 10% of floor area of buildings over 3,000 SF, may be certified under LEED BD+C, EarthCraft Light Commercial, EarthCraft Sustainable Preservation (if it is a historic structure), or Green Globes.

In addition to architectural and site plans, all Decatur permit applications require a worksheet from the chosen green building program, a completed Decatur High Performance Building Worksheet, and proof of registration with the certification program. At completion, the project must provide proof of completed certification to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.

Since the implementation of this ordinance, SK Collaborative has certified over 1,300 multifamily units, with over 500 units in process. Commercial projects certified under the ordinance include the Publix Supermarket at Sam’s Crossing, D92 BBQ, Spot for Dogs, and WeWork, and 190 single family homes.

No Comments

Post A Comment