The City of Virginia Beach recognizes the critical importance of environmental sustainability to its long term success, and is committed to fostering the principles of environmental, economic, and social stewardship through the incorporation of sustainable practices, polices, and directives:
Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings
In 2008, the City Council formally adopted a Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings. This Administrative Directive requires each new or renovated city/school building to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver rating at a minimum. To date, there are 35 LEED-certified buildings throughout the city, including the 225,000-square-foot Clark Nexsen office tower in Town Center and the 500,000 sf Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Sustainable Procurement Directive
The purpose of this policy is to address procurement elements of the City's Sustainability Plan. This Sustainable Procurement Directives provides a framework for the procurement of goods and services for minimizing negative impacts on human health and environment while being mindful of fiscal responsibilities.
Energy Management for Municipal Operations Directive
The City's Energy Management Program was established to analyze energy consumption of city buildings, utilities systems, motor vehicles, and improve their energy performance. The program is administered by the City's Energy Office, which monitors city energy usage, and identifies new ways for the city to save money on energy bills as well as become more energy efficient.
Energy-Efficient Buildings Tax Credit
In 2010, Virginia Beach City Council adopted the Energy Efficient Buildings Real Estate Tax Incentive Program to encourage sustainable commercial and residential development. The program reduces the real estate tax by $0.15 per $100 for buildings certified as energy efficient by a qualified licensed engineer or contractor.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools Sustainability Practices
Virginia Beach City Public Schools understands the importance of conserving resources and protecting the environment. The Division has established a Sustainable Schools program with three sustainable goals:
1) Develop a sustainable building infrastructure that requires LEED silver rating for any new or renovated building;
2) Integrate sustainable practices throughout the division to include no-idle policies for buses and purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles;
3) Educate the public about the importance of sustainability beginning in elementary school.
Sea Level Rise Resilience Strategy
The City of Virginia Beach understands the critical value of planning for sea-level rise, and in 2014 commenced a study to determine how it will adapt to these realities. In 2016, the City won a highly coveted $844,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help protect homes, businesses and military bases from rising seas and associated recurrent flooding. The city will partner with Dewberry, the Georgetown Climate Center and Old Dominion University to determine best practices for adapting to flooding. The study will be completed in 2018.