The construction of cities—homes, businesses, roads and other associated infrastructure—has had a profound impact on the natural environment. Decreased native vegetation cover, increased stormwater flows, accelerated erosion of our land and streams, increased sediment deposition and increased atmospheric and water pollution constitute some of the major negative effects from development. By rethinking the way we develop and redevelop, many of these environmental issues can be minimized or eliminated entirely, leaving us with healthy homes and workplaces, and vibrant communities.
Greening the built environment is inherently interdisciplinary: we must consider energy efficiency of buildings, transportation options and traffic impacts, historic preservation, water quality, air quality, health of the indoor environment, materials reuse and recycling—the list goes on and on! Click the links on the sidebar for more information about the many aspects of greening Rockville’s built environment.
On May 10, 2010, the Mayor and Council adopted comprehensive amendments to Chapter 5 of the City Code, “Buildings and Building Regulations.” The ordinance established Article XIV, titled, “Green Building Regulations,” that improves the efficiency and environmental quality of buildings and homes. The updated building codes apply to new construction and renovations, of both commercial and residential buildings.
On June 18, 2012, the Mayor and Council approved an ordinance that adopts the 2012 International Code Council (ICC) model codes by reference and includes minor revisions to the local amendments contained in Chapter 5. Unlike the 2010 effort to overhaul the code, the 2012 update was primarily housekeeping in nature to align the building code with the 2012 ICC (including the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code), as required by the Maryland Building Performance Standards. Local governments must enforce these codes by July 1, 2012.
Rockville project applicants are encouraged to start preparing their green building application as early in the design process as possible to minimize cost, and increase the opportunity to include more green features.
The City's requirements and verification methods differ by project type. For ALL project types, a LEED or LEED-equivalent checklist and supporting documentation will be required with each planning permit and building permit, unless otherwise stated.
The City is willing to consider alternative methods of compliance such as other rating systems or building codes so long as they are deemed equivalent in spirit and stringency to the rating system, code or program referenced. The applicant must work with the City to ensure equivalency and develop acceptable compliance documentation.For information about the many aspects of greening Rockville's built environment:
Planning and Development Review
Jeremy Hurlbutt, Planner III
Building Plans and Permits
General Green Building Information
Erica Shingara, Sustainability Coordinator