Dallas College's Aspirational High-Performance Building Guidelines

Dallas College is committed to building and operating healthy, energy-efficient facilities that ensure that our students and employees:

  • Feel well
  • Think well
  • Perform well

Dallas College has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Dallas County. To ensure that all new buildings are economically feasible and support its long-term financial health, Dallas College projects will make design choices after considering both the cost of construction and the cost of operating and maintaining buildings during their anticipated service life (Life Cycle Analysis), and the impacts of buildings on occupant health and performance.

Dallas College stays abreast of the latest research to ensure that we are building the best structures possible to meet our current and future needs. Examples of these areas for attention include, but are not limited to:

  • Biomimicry (leveraging nature's genius in design)
  • Biophilic Design (incorporating nature and its principles into buildings to improve employee productivity)
  • Digital Electricity
  • Integrated Design
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Net Zero Energy Design (meeting the building's energy needs through on-site renewable energy generation)
  • Resilient Design (designing buildings and systems to help Dallas College and the communities we serve survive shocks and adapt to changing conditions, including a changing climate)
  • WaterWise landscaping
  • Zero Waste


Dallas College is a green building leader in the community, modeling sustainable behavior for our students, community members, business and industry.

Long Term Goals

Dallas College buildings are regenerative. In addition to doing no harm, they make positive contributions to human and natural systems.

Long-term, strategic thinking is rewarded; inefficient building designs that waste energy and generate pollution are discouraged. All new construction is incentivized to meet net-zero energy standards (competitive bidders will get extra points for net-zero plans/bids; campuses will get a portion of the projected savings for five years to spend on programming).

When existing buildings are upgraded or renovated, they also will be incentivized to meet net-zero standards.

Minimum Standards

To ensure that all Dallas College buildings meet the same minimum standard of quality for comfort, energy efficiency and resources conservation, all current and future Dallas College buildings will meet:

  • Energy Star Portfolio standards
  • Meet ASHRAE 90.1-2016 / IECC 2018 energy code (Current TX requirements are IECC 2015 = ASHRAE 90.1-2013)
  • DCCCD's Building Standards (in development)

To the extent possible, new buildings and renovations will be designed to accommodate future technologies that may not be cost-effective when the building is constructed, but might be in the future (e.g., "solar-ready roofs" and "battery storage ready").

Campuses and locations are allowed and encouraged to adopt the approach for promoting high-performance projects that fits their situation and meets their current/future educational and sustainability goals. Certification is optional. This list will be updated as new standards emerge.

To easily compare some of the major green building standards, visit the EPA's green building standards website.