Beyond Code Portal

While the building code provides the minimum standard for building construction, the opportunity exists to go above and beyond, further increasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of our built environment. To aid this process, there is an assortment of codes, standards, ratings, and practices available to builders and jurisdictions. These advanced and green energy codes direct the design and construction of more sustainable buildings that go beyond the minimum accepted standards of practice. Green and advanced codes are therefore an important means of achieving climate goals set by many states and municipalities, as well as addressing the rising cost of energy.

  • Beyond Code Regulations

    A nationwide compilation showing where states and jurisdictions have surpassed minimum code requirements.

  • City Profiles

    A selection of major cities across the United States that have taken exceptional steps towards increasing the energy efficiency of their buildings.

  • Connecting Energy Codes to Sustainable Land Use Practices

    Energy codes are an effective tool for reducing building energy use. Yet they are insufficient for solving other crucial energy and environmental concerns related to buildings, such as transportation and the distribution of scarce land resources.

  • International Green Construction Code

    An overview of the first model code to include sustainability measures encompassing an entire project and its site.

  • Net Zero Energy Buildings

    High-performance buildings that use integrated energy-saving technologies and renewable sources to achieve very low energy use and carbon emissions.

  • Recognized Programs

    A sampling of programs available for building owners, states or cities that want to exceed the minimum code requirements and promote sustainability.

  • Stretch and Reach Codes

    Options for exceeding the energy efficiency requirements of a state’s mandatory codes.

  • SunShot Initiative

    A project for providing solar training to architects and engineers with the goal of ultimately reducing the indirect costs of solar transactions.

  • Water and Energy

    The importance of efficiency and conservation of both energy and water.


In August 2009, BCAP commissioned the Britt/Makela Group to prepare a national listing of voluntary and mandatory above-code, high performance, and green building programs. To download that listing as an Excel spreadsheet, please click here.

Going Beyond Code: A Guide to Creating Effective Green Building Programs for Energy Efficient and Sustainable Communities | DOE Building Technologies Program