Green Building

Green build­ing tech­niques use envi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able mate­ri­als to con­struct build­ings that con­serve resources and save energy, both in their con­struc­tion and in their oper­a­tion, and pro­vide healthy liv­ing or work­ing space.

Howard County is a leader in build­ing “green” in pub­lic spaces:

  • Most new pub­licly funded build­ings (30% or more County fund­ing), larger than 10,000 square feet must attain a LEED Sil­ver rating.
  • Most new pri­vate build­ings larger than 50,000 square feet must attain a LEED Cer­ti­fied rating.

Howard County pro­vides tax cred­its for these “high per­for­mance build­ings”. Qual­i­fy­ing com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial build­ings receive tax cred­its when the build­ings are built to cer­tain LEED and equiv­a­lent stan­dards. For more infor­ma­tion about the high per­for­mance build­ing cred­its, please visit Howard County’s Finance Depart­ment page.

State Incen­tives

Maryland’s state gov­ern­ment allows a green build­ing tax credit for busi­nesses that con­struct or reha­bil­i­tate a build­ing con­form­ing to spe­cific stan­dards intended to save energy and mit­i­gate envi­ron­men­tal impacts. The Mary­land Energy Admin­is­tra­tion offers incen­tives such as tax cred­its and rebates for energy effi­ciency. Please visit their web­site for details on state res­i­den­tial and busi­ness pro­grams. and the Com­mer­cial Clean Energy Grant Pro­gram.

Green Neigh­bor­hoods

Howard County’s unique and vol­un­tary Green Neigh­bor­hood Pro­gram pro­vides allo­ca­tions for the design and con­struc­tion of homes meet­ing spe­cific environmentally-focused cri­te­ria. These devel­op­ments can use this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in mar­ket­ing their com­mu­ni­ties and may also qual­ify for fast track plan processing.

Howard County cre­ated a Green Neigh­bor­hood Check­list that pro­vides a list of options to cre­ate a Green Neigh­bor­hood Site and Home. The check­list includes a vari­ety of envi­ron­men­tally respon­si­ble cri­te­ria such as paths and trails, open space, envi­ron­men­tal preser­va­tion, appro­pri­ate land­scap­ing, water and energy effi­ciency and waste management.

Learn More

Please visit the Green Neigh­bor­hood page of the Depart­ment of Inspec­tion, Licenses, and Per­mits for more infor­ma­tion about the Green Neigh­bor­hood guid­ance doc­u­ments and the Green Neigh­bor­hood Checklist. Howard County’s Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Zon­ing also has a web­page that includes infor­ma­tion about Green Neigh­bor­hoods includ­ing con­tact info and guid­ance doc­u­ments found under Pro­gram Doc­u­ments.

Locust Chapel

Locust Chapel is the first Howard County’s neigh­bor­hood to achieve Green Neigh­bor­hood sta­tus. Locust Chapel is reduc­ing stormwa­ter runoff, con­serv­ing water and energy, and pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able prac­tices like grow­ing food. All while encour­ag­ing green and neigh­borly inter­ac­tions between res­i­dents and their surroundings.

The neighborhood’s pavil­ion sat­is­fies the “Green Spaces and Amenity Areas” credit and fea­tures a green roof, pic­nic tables, and solar pan­els to power the pavilion’s ceil­ing fans and lights. What water is not absorbed by the green roof is cap­tured by rain bar­rels which can be used for water­ing land­scap­ing or the com­mu­nity gar­den. Nature path helps con­nect areas of the neigh­bor­hood with a nat­ural sur­face walk­ing trail. The trail earned Locust Chapel points for the “Pedes­trian Sys­tem” credit.