City of Houston - Residential and Commercial Green Building Requirements

Program City of Houston - Residential and Commercial Green Building Requirements
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector Local
Last Update
State Texas
Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential


In 2014, the City Council of Houston passed Ordinance No. 2014-5, requiring new residential construction to exceed the energy efficiency requirements under the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 15%.

There are several ways a project can demonstrated compliance with the 15% additional energy efficiency requirement, including:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Program certification;
  • energy code compliance modeling through approved software, along with testing the building’s thermal envelope;
  • prescriptive energy efficiency option packages approved by Texas A&M Energy Systems Laboratory listed in the statute, among which include either a 4 kilowatt photovoltaic array or a solar hot water system combined with ducts located in conditioned space and 100% ENERGY STAR CFL indoor lamps;
  • demonstrating improved compliance with Section R405 of the 2012 IECC.


In April 2008, Houston adopted the City of Houston Commercial Energy Conservation Code based on ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004.

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