Green Building Standards

Green Building Standards

The Baltimore City Green Construction Code has been in place since April 2015, when Council Bill 14-0413 amended the City's existing mandatory green building law for commercial and multi-family residential buildings. 

Benefits of Green Building 

Green building is on the rise nationally and internationally because of the long-term benefits to owners, occupants, and society as a whole. In the United States, buildings alone account for almost 40 percent of CO2 emissions. High-density urban areas like Baltimore have an opportunity to reduce those emissions by mandating more efficient building practices. In addition to reducing emissions, green buildings tend to be more cost-effective to operate, use less water, produce less waste, provide healthier occupant conditions than traditional buildings, have higher occupancy rates, and be more valuable in the real estate marketplace.  

Baltimore City Green Construction Code

In accordance with the Baltimore City Building, Fire and Related Code, Part XI (Baltimore City Green Construction Code), all design, construction, addition, alteration, change of occupancy, relocation, replacement, repair, equipment, building site, maintenance, removal, and demolition of every structure and any appurtenances connected or attached to a structure and to the site on which the structure is located (except as otherwise exempted), must comply with the 2018 International Green Construction Code, as adopted by Ordinance 20-361, effective May 18, 2020, and subsequently amended.

Review the current Building, Fire, and Related Codes of Baltimore City, Part XI.

How Does It Work?

All permits for commercial and certain multi-family residential buildings are required to complete Tab 3 on the IgCC Checklist to determine code applicability and identify a green building compliance path.

If the IgCC path is chosen, applicants must complete the Baltimore City Green checklist.

Compliance Paths

Per section 101.3 of Part X of the Baltimore City Building, Fire, and Related Codes, the following paths are acceptable choices to meet the green building law. 

Compliance Path Verification Documentation (Submit with Building Permit)
The current version of LEED Silver Proof of LEED registration when the design submittal stage is complete
NGBS - ICC/700 for multifamily and mixed-use Letter from approved NGBS certifier verifying project’s NBGS path submittal
ASHRAE 189.1 Letter from approved third-party certifier that project is designed to meet ASHRAE 189.1
IgCC as amended by Baltimore City in Part XI of the Baltimore City Building, Fire, and Related Codes. Completed Baltimore City Green Checklist along with plans and specs sufficiently documented to show required IgCC compliance
Other Any other nationally recognized standard must be pre-approved by the Building Official. For projects proposing to use another standard, a pre-development meeting is required prior to application submittal.
Exemption Justification statement (to be verified and approved by the Building Official)


All new permits and all projects submitted for e-plans review, no matter the square footage, must comply with the current green building law, except as exempted below. 

Per section 101.3.2 of Part XI of the Baltimore City Building, Fire and Related Codes, the following projects are exempt: 

  1. 1- and 2-family dwellings regulated by the International Residential Code for 1- and 2-family dwellings
  2. Multi-family dwellings no more than 3 stories in height AND containing no more than 5 dwelling units 
  3. Temporary structures 
  4. Equipment or systems used for industrial or manufacturing
  5. Practical Infeasibility determined by Building Official (IgCC 2018 Section 103.5)

Note:  Please convert excel file to a pdf file before uploading with other design documents.


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Construction Codes
International Green Construction Code (IgCC)
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
ASHRAE 189.1
Enterprise Green Communities

Articles on Green Building
What is Green Building (USGBC)
Benefits of Green Building (USGBC)
Green Buildings Could Save our Cities (National Geographic)