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City of Portland - Green Building Policy and LEED Certification

Local Government
Savings Category 
Solar - Passive
Solar Water Heat
Solar Space Heat
Geothermal Electric
Solar Thermal Electric
Solar Thermal Process Heat
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Landfill Gas
Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Wind (Small)
Anaerobic Digestion
Program Info
Sector Name 
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
In 2001, the City of Portland adopted a Green Building Policy requiring new construction and major renovations of all city facilities to meet the Certified level of LEED. This policy was amended on April 27, 2005 by Resolution Number 36310, which was adopted by the Portland City Council. At that time, the Green Building Policy was changed to require new buildings to meet the LEED Gold standard. Additionally, the 2005 changes required LEED EBOM Silver for existing buildings. This policy was further amended in April 2009, with the passage of Resolution Number 36700. This resolution includes measures to incorporate the Green Building Policy and green building principles into city operations. Building construction projects and operations and maintenance will be financed at a level appropriate for the implementation of the Green Building Policy.

Current requirements for new city-owned construction projects include:

  • Recycle 85% of all construction and demolition (C&D) waste;
  • Have 30% water savings beyond the Energy Policy Act of 1992 baseline code requirements;
  • Use no potable water for building landscaping, except during first two years;
  • Have 30% energy savings beyond LEED baseline requirements;
  • Use building commissioning strategies required to be eligible for the Sustainable Building Business Energy Tax Credit;
  • Include an ecoroof with at least 70% coverage and high reflectance and Energy Star-rated roof material on any non-ecoroof roof surface area. When an integrated ecoroof/Energy Star-rated roof is impractical, Energy Star-rated roof material must be used; and
  • Incorporate renewable energy systems when possible or required by state.

Existing city-owned buildings installing a new roof must follow the guidelines specified above. All tenant improvements to city-owned facilities must be LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI) Silver and/or follow the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's (BPS) High Performance Tenant Improvement Guide. All new commercial or mixed-use buildings over 10,000 square feet that receive financial assistance from the Portland Development Commission of $300,000 or more and that also equals 10% of the total project cost must achieve LEED Silver certification.