City Policies & Building Codes

Sustainable Building Practices Inform City Policies

Austin’s Innovation District provides opportunities for collaboration on an inclusive new community, where green buildings support health and economic opportunity for all.
Austin’s Innovation District provides opportunities for collaboration on an inclusive new community, where green buildings support health and economic opportunity for all.

Austin Energy Green Building's (AEGB's) ratings help shape and drive Austin policies. Rated projects promote the more efficient use of limited resources such as water and energy, to help reduce the negative impacts of development.

The data and reporting provided from the rating process enable boards and commissions to make more informed decisions for the city, such as the adoption of new codes or additional planning incentives that help Austin's resources stretch further to keep up with growing demand.

Dive into our data to see the impact of AEGB-rated projects

Community Partnerships at Work

AEGB recognizes the power of aligning and uniting with other community focused organizations. We welcome opportunities to work together.

See how an AEGB rating requirement helped launch a local construction waste diversion market

City of Austin Policies with Green Building Agreements

  • S.M.A.R.T. Housing (Safe, Mixed Income, Accessible, Reasonably Priced, Transit-Oriented)
    True affordability goes far beyond initial building costs. It includes the price of everything from transportation, ongoing maintenance, utilities, and even healthcare. The City of Austin includes green building requirements as part of its holistic approach to lowering costs for all Austinites.

    Read more about S.M.A.R.T. Housing development incentives
  • PUD (Planned Unit Development) Zoning Superiority
    When the benefits of a green project outweigh those of a standard one, Austin PUD can replace standard zoning requirements to help preserve the natural environment, encourage high quality and innovative design, and ensure adequate public facilities and services. Green building ratings help these developments exceed local environmental codes and AEGB tracks contributions toward our sustainability goals. AEGB ratings are flexible so that best practices can be recognized at every scale.

    Read more about Planned Unit Development

  • The Downtown Density Bonus Program
    The Downtown Density Program (est. 2014) allows downtown developments to build taller and with greater density in exchange for high quality buildings and streetscapes, as well as community benefits, such as a 2-star Green Building rating and affordable housing.

    Read more about the Downtown Density Bonus Program

  • Zoning: The Central Business District, Downtown Mixed Use, Green Water Treatment Plant Redevelopment, UNO, North Burnet/Gateway, Rainy Street, South Central Waterfront
    Every Austin neighborhood has different characteristics and goals. Some Austin neighborhoods have incorporated AEGB ratings into their zoning rules, declaring that new construction standards must exceed local environmental codes. AEGB tracks and reports data, enabling stakeholders to monitor outcomes.

    View map and get details about City of Austin zoning rules

Austin's Green Codes and Policies

AEGB uses rating systems to pilot test initiatives, build local job and materials markets, and ultimately help guide and implement change.

  • Austin's Energy Code
    AEGB is responsible for the development of Austin's Energy Code and enabling the stakeholder engagement process that results in its adoption. We provide training and are happy to answer any of your energy code questions.

    Browse the City of Austin code library
  • Zero Waste
    AEGB partners with Austin Resource Recovery. Since 1991, we have fostered a zero-waste approach to building construction, deconstruction and operation. We've aided in the development of local jobs and materials markets that make the reuse of construction materials possible in Austin. We ensure rated projects are designed to enable occupants and maintenance teams to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost waste.

    Get details about the City of Austin Zero Waste plan
  • Water
    Austin's watershed protection and conservation codes are some of the most forward-thinking in the country. AEGB requirements help Austin weather droughts and floods better by taking a One Water approach to protecting and preserving our water supply. We support the Austin Water Forward Plan and work with Austin Water during every phase of implementation.

    Visit the Watershed Protection Department website
  • Transportation
    In an effort to support buildings that help facilitate the de-carbonization of transportation, AEGB encourages electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the installation of alternative commuting and pedestrian amenities. We work closely with Austin Energy Electric Vehicles and Emerging Technologies, the Austin Transportation Department, Economic Development, Planning and Development, CapMetro, and others to help create safer, healthier, and more sustainable transportation options.

    Visit the Department of Transportation Demand Management website

Austin's Green Utility Services

  • Austin Energy Rebates & Incentives
    AEGB ratings inform and reward customers for making choices that help improve the entire city. Ask an AEGB representative about Austin Energy rebates and other benefits for residential, commercial, and multifamily customers.

    Get details about Austin Energy rebates and incentives
  • Austin Water Rebates, Tool and Programs
    Austin Water supports customers seeking sustainable water options. AEGB ratings help inform and reward customers for making choices that preserve and protect our precious and limited water supply. Ask an AEGB representative about Austin Water rebates and other benefits.

    Get details about Austin Water rebates, tools, and programs

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Date last reviewed or modified: 02/10/2022