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Salem's New Green Building Ordinance


A new, environmentally focused ordinance was introduced at the last Salem City Council meeting. The Salem Green Building Ordinance would introduce new requirements for commercial and residential new construction and renovation of buildings greater than 5,000 square feet as well as requirements for any roof undergoing major construction and any sale of residential property.

The ordinance states that:

  • All new commercial or residential construction greater than 5,000 square feet must be certified LEED Silver or higher or be subject to a penalty. All commercial and multi-family buildings greater than 20,000 square feet LEED Gold Rating or higher.
  • Current structures with new additions that go to 5,000 square feet or city-owned/city-financed buildings would be subject to the same requirements as new construction.
  • Any residential property that is sold within Salem must provide the City Building Department and any potential buyers a Mass Save Energy Assessment of the property (done within two years prior to sale) and information regarding the last two years of yearly/monthly energy costs and use.
  • Any roof undergoing major construction must be covered in either solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or a green roof system (covered in vegetation). Construction projects affected include new construction, vertical and horizontal extensions, and major modifications to the roof requiring a permit. A solar assessment shall be submitted to the Sustainability, Energy and Resiliency Committee (SERC) prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.

The ordinance has been sent to the Public Health, Safety & Environment City Council Subcommittee for review. There is expected to be Public Hearings on the ordinance likely this fall.

You can read more about the ordinance here.


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