Green Building

     Residential Green Building Certificate Programs       

Construction and energy costs are continuing to rise. Water and other natural resources are becoming scarcer than ever before. The old ways of constructing buildings with little to no consideration of their impact to our environment are also becoming extinct. As the construction industry looks to more sustainable building practices the City of Tucson awards builders for exceptional building practices by certifying buildings based on green building techniques. Talk to Planning and Development Services staff to find out how your residential building project may qualify for a green building certificate.

The City of Tucson certifies two types of residential projects. Certificates are available for new one and two family dwellings or extensive residential remodels/additions. In order to participate in the program, an applicant must submit a completed checklist with supporting documentation in conjunction with a permit application. Building design is evaluated in the following six main categories:

• Location, Lot Design, Preparation & Development
Can your project be constructed with minimal impact to the land and maximize natural landscaping consistent with the local region?
• Resource Efficiency
Are you making the best use of the building materials available for construction?
• Energy Efficiency
All buildings consume energy in order to provide a comfortable living environment. How much energy will your residence require?
• Water Efficiency
Does your construction design incorporate the best use of our desert’s most precious resource?
• Indoor Environmental Quality
A home is intended to provide a safe and relaxing environment for our families and the best design would avoid harmful chemicals and provide a healthy atmosphere.
• Operation, Maintenance & Owner Education
The best tools have little value when used erroneously. Will you be setting the homeowner up for success by teaching them about the sustainable elements of the home?



Residential Green BUILDING Rating System (pdf)                                     
Green Building Checklist (Excel)          
Green Building Inspection List                                                                                     

Residential Green REMODELING Rating System (pdf)
Green Remodeling Checklist (Excel)
Green Remodeling Inspection List

      City of Tucson Mandatory Ordinances:
In most desert climates, the sun is the most plentiful commodity and water is the most valuable resource. The City of Tucson has made these two elements of significant concern for all new one and two family dwellings by adopting a few ordinances to ensure sustainable potential in the future. Before a building permit will be issued, all residential homes (one and two family) must include the following elements to allow future homeowners to increase the building’s sustainability:

• Preparation for the installation of a future photovoltaic system to generate electricity from the sun Ordinance 10549
• Preparation for the installation of a future solar water heating system Ordinance 10549
• Separate drains for gray water plumbing fixtures so a future gray water irrigation system may be installed Ordinance 11089