Policy 1703
Sustainable Construction

Date of Current Revision: November 2016
Primary Responsible Officer: Director, Engineering and Construction


The purpose of this policy is to outline requirements and procedures for ensuring the use of sustainable building practices in the design and construction of new or renovated university facilities.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


Green Globes:
An online green building rating and certification tool that serves as an alternative to LEED. This system is owned and operated by the Green Building Initiative and is used in the United States and Canada.  This system seeks to assess a building’s environmental and energy performance by creating improvement plans throughout various stages of project delivery, providing certifications and awards for green building design and management.

The Higher Education Capital Outlay Manual as developed by James Madison University

The High Performance Building Act, which became Virginia law in 2012, requires executive branch agencies to meet VEES, LEED or Green Globes standards in all new public buildings where construction is greater than 5,000 square feet or in renovations when the cost to renovate exceeds 50 percent of the building’s value.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

The Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards. Developed by the Department of General Services and outlined in section 6.1.3.C of the HECOM.


The policy applies to all departments and all facilities that are owned by the university.


New construction and renovation of buildings shall be performed in accordance with the High Performance Building Act as outlined in section 6.1.3 of the JMU HECOM Specifically, when  entering the design phase for: 1) construction of a new building greater than 5,000 gross square feet in size, or 2) renovation of a building where the cost of renovation exceeds 50 percent of the value of the building, the new construction and/or renovation shall be designed and constructed in accordance with either LEED, Green Globes or VEES as outlined in the JMU HECOM.


Facilities Planning and Construction will follow procedures outlined in Section of the JMU HECOM.


The Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance is the final approving authority for all aspects of major new construction and renovation projects.

The Director of Engineering and Construction is responsible for ensuring that proper action is taken to accomplish all necessary work related to new construction or renovation. In addition, the Director of Engineering and Construction is responsible for reviewing all non-capital major projects and all major maintenance projects and ensuring the compliance of those projects with this policy.

The Director of Facilities Planning and Construction is responsible for reviewing all capital projects, whether new construction or renovation, and ensuring the compliance of those projects with this policy.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.




The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President and is generally delegated to the Director of Engineering and Construction.

Previous version: July 2014
Approved by the President: October 2009

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