Town of Chapel Hill - Energy Conservation Requirements for Town Buildings

Last updated: October 14, 2019

Program Overview

Implementing Sector:Local
Category:Regulatory Policy
State:North Carolina
Incentive Type:Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Daylighting
Renewable Energy Requirement:All town-owned new buildings or new additions to existing buildings of greater than 5,000 sq ft must achieve LEED Silver certification


Name:Chapel Hill Code of Ordinances, Article VII, Sec. 5-121 et seq.


The Town of Chapel Hill’s energy-conservation ordinance requires all new or expanded buildings constructed by and for the town to achieve a Silver level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. This requirement applies to all new buildings or new additions to existing buildings of greater than 5,000 sq ft. The town council may require buildings and building additions less than 5,000 square feet to be certified as well.

In order to be selected to design a town building, an architectural firm must have at least one LEED-accredited professional on the design team who is directly involved in the day-to-day management of the project. For new construction and building additions required to achieve LEED certification under this ordinance, the town requires either the project architect or engineer to monitor the energy performance of the building and to assist the building's staff in optimizing energy use of the building during the first year.

Contract for project design services require the development of a commissioning plan as part of the construction documents. The commissioning plan must include provisions for initial commissioning upon completion of the construction project and provisions for a commissioning evaluation to take place after the building has a 12-month utility billing history.

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