Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open to visitors by appointment only. Please call or email from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
703-324-7136 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 533
Fairfax, VA 22035
John Morrill


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OES: Green Buildings

A large portion of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to energy use in buildings, both here in Fairfax County and nationwide. By constructing buildings designed to use less energy, Fairfax County saves taxpayer dollars and reduces our carbon footprint.

Green buildings do more than just reduce energy use, they also address water use, waste, siting, indoor air quality, and material sourcing. Studies show that people who work in green buildings perform better, feel healthier, and have a better overall experience at their workplace.

On this page, you will find information about Fairfax County's green building standards for county-owned and operated buildings.

Use the dropdowns and map below to learn more.

Goal: All new county government buildings and major renovations over 10,000 square feet are designed and constructed to achieve a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold.

Progress: Achieved and ongoing

Dating back to 2008, Fairfax County required new county buildings and major renovations or additions to existing buildings of more than 10,000 square feet to meet minimum green building standards. In recent years, the county has demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship by strengthening the energy performance criteria with a transition to Net Zero Energy (NZE) standards.

Fairfax County’s current green building standard is set forth in the Green Building section of the Operational Energy Strategy.  It provides that, for facilities with an occupied area greater than 10,000 square feet:

  1. All new construction and major renovations beginning planning and design in 2021 must meet NZE standards unless the Board of Supervisors is advised prior to the 30% design phase as to why the project cannot meet the NZE standard. LEED Gold plus 50% more efficient than baseline is the minimum certification.
  2. All new facility construction, additions and major renovations (a) beginning design in FY 2022 or later are electric-ready and (b) beginning design in FY 2024 or later use only electric equipment and appliances, unless no alternative can be identified.

The construction of NZE and near-NZE buildings and major renovations is a critical component of Fairfax County’s plan to achieve energy carbon neutrality in its operations by 2040. 

Fairfax County incorporates a number of design elements to minimize environmental impacts of buildings and to meet criteria established under green building rating systems. These include:

  • High Performance Building Envelope
  • Energy Efficient HVAC and Lighting Systems
  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies
  • Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures
  • Low Environmental Impact Building Materials
  • On-Site Renewable Energy Systems
  • EV Charging Stations and Dedicated EV Parking

fairfax county staff standing near an updated energy efficienct HVAC system outside Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority building in Fair Oaks.

LEED gold logo 200 x 200Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) is a green building program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) that recognizes leadership in development of sustainable buildings. Projects pursuing LEED® certification earn points across several areas including sustainability of the building site, water conservation, energy efficiency, air quality, use of sustainable construction materials, waste reduction, and indoor environmental quality. Based on the number of points achieved, a project receives one of four LEED rating levels: LEED Certified®, LEED Silver®, LEED Gold®, and LEED Platinum®.

Fairfax County now designs all new buildings and major renovations greater than 10,0000 square feet to achieve a minimum of LEED Gold® rating. Since 2009, the county has built 24 LEED Silver® buildings, 18 LEED Gold® buildings and 1 LEED Platinum® building.

Use the map below to see the county’s LEED-certified buildings.

USGBC® and the related logo are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and are used with permission.

Living Building Challenge Certified Buildings

The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certification program created in 2006 by the non-profit International Living Future Institute. Living Building Challenge comprises seven performance areas: site, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty. Applications for certification can be submitted once the building has been in operation for a full year.

Green Globes-Certified Buildings
Green Globes™ is a rating and certification system that encourage improved environmental and health performance for commercial buildings. Green Globes™ is administered in the United States by the Green Building Initiative.

Fairfax County received certifications for these buildings:

  • Two Green Globes
    • Foundations (formerly known as the Girls Probation House)
  • One Green Globes
    • Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter   

Featured Green Building: Woodlands Stewardship Education Center

Designed to wow adults and children alike, this interpretive facility at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park was designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge. 

Operational Energy Strategy (OES)

The Operational Energy Strategy promotes cost-effective solutions and an energy-conscious culture for county government operations, buildings and fleet vehicles. The plan sets goals, targets and actions across major focus areas - including building energy and water use, fleet electrification, and waste management.

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