Page archived as of December 31, 2013

Green Building Resource Center - Government

Eco-City Alexandria and the City’s Green Building Policy aims to guide Alexandria towards a more sustainable environmental future by promoting green buildings that bring environmental and economic benefits to present and future generations. 

Eco-City Alexandria

In spring 2007, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) to design and facilitate a new, strategic collaborative planning process, called Eco-City Alexandria, to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward sustainability.

Eco-City Alexandria is a place where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. Eco-City Alexandria works to harmonize existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets with their natural resources and environmental assets. The Eco-City Alexandria initiative will strive to engage all citizens in collaborative and transparent decision making, while being mindful of social equity concerns.

The City’s Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) is the project’s principal advisor along with representatives from the Alexandria City Council and City Staff. The Director of the Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City’s project manager. The newly formed team conducted an inventory of existing City programs and plans and examined best practices from across the country and around the world to create a compendium of model programs and practices. Since 2008, the Eco-City Alexandria team has consulted with Alexandria residents and business owners to determine what it will take to make Alexandria an Eco-City.

Achievements thus far include:

  • implementing enhanced recycling program
  • making progress towards reducing fine particulate emissions from the Mirant power plant
  • achieving LEED certification for several new City green buildings
  • completing the Strawberry Run stream restoration
  • several renewable energy and green projects completed at Alexandria City Public Schools

The City of Alexandria has also received awards from the Virginia Municipal League and ICLEI organization for sustainable achievements under this initiative. To learn more about how you can benefit from the Eco-City Alexandria Initiative or participate in an upcoming event, click here. 

Green Building Policy

Green Buildings have been identified by the City as a major component of its commitment to sustainable development. The City’s initiatives through its strategic plan, commitment to Green Building of City facilities, and the adoption of the Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan lay the foundations for the wider adoption of Green Building practice in the City.

At its April 18, 2009 public hearing, the City Council unanimously voted to adopt the proposed Green Building Policy. Per this Policy, the City expects that all new development requiring a Development Site Plan or Development Special Use Permit will achieve a LEED Silver or an equivalent rating for non-residential development and LEED Certified or an equivalent rating for residential development. More details about the policy is provided at: P&Z Green Building in Alexandria

City Green Building Projects

The City government has now constructed two LEED®-NC v2.2 Gold-certified facilities–Charles Houston Recreation Center and the DASH Bus Operations and Maintenance facility– and one LEED®-EB v2.0 Silver-certified facility, the City's Human Services facility at 2525 Mt. Vernon Avenue. The City’s recently opened Alexandria Station development – a public/private partnership – is a mixed-use residential, retail, and fire station facility. The residential units (64) are EarthCraft-certified while the retail and fire station spaces are currently seeking LEED®-NC Silver certification. Moreover, the City is pursuing aggressive energy use reductions and stormwater runoff mitigation through its Energy Management program and Office of Environmental Quality efforts. For example, City operations are on target to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use in 2015 over 2005 baseline consumption.