Buildings & Development

Integrated Building Design and Construction Policy

The Town's Integrated Building Design and Construction Policy guides the development of all new town and school building projects with the goal of maximizing the health of building occupants and the public at large, as well as minimizing negative environmental impacts. The policy builds off of LEED guidance, and requires all projects strive to be net zero emissions. 

Sustainable Development

Lexington uses state buildings codes, Town bylaws, and other regulations to promote the development of sustainable and resilient buildings that are healthy and affordable for occupants. The Lexington Sustainable Development Guide provides developers and builders with the information they need about sustainable building requirements and supports to meet the requirements.

Building Energy Codes

In Massachusetts, municipalities have a choice of three energy codes to enforce.

  1. The base code builds off of the International Energy Conservation Code with Massachusetts-specific amendments.
  2. The stretch code builds off the base code with stricter energy efficiency standards. It is required for all Green Communities and around 300 communities use it.
  3. The specialized code is even more stringent code than the stretch code and communities can choose to opt in to use with a Town Meeting vote. It was developed in 2022 after a state climate bill called for the creation of a “net zero” building code.

Code Status in Lexington

Lexington adopted the stretch code in 2010. Updates to the stretch code automatically went into effect on January 1, 2023. Lexington Town Meeting passed the specialized code in March 2023, with an effective date of January 1, 2024. The Buildings Department enforces the codes.