High-Performance Building Requirements for State Buildings

March 13, 2024


In March 2008, South Dakota enacted legislation mandating the use of high-performance building standards in new state construction and renovations. The law was updated in 2021, lessening the previous standards and removing the requirements for renovations. The policy now requires that new state buildings achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certified rating (decreased from silver rating), a two-globe rating under the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globe rating system, or a comparable numeric rating from another accredited sustainable building certification program. The law applies to all new construction projects by state agencies, departments, or institutions that has a cost of at least $1,000,000 or includes more than 10,000 square feet of space. The standard only applies to buildings with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.

No new construction may proceed until the Bureau of Administration (BOA) has determined that the construction is satisfactorily designed to meet the requirements of the high-performance building standard. New constructions must, in good faith, be designed with the intention of meeting or exceeding the high-performance green building standard that was in effect when the construction was registered with the rating system. Before construction begins, the Office of the State Engineer, architect, and building owner must identify, in good faith, all components of the new construction that are used to satisfy the requirements. Upon completion of any new construction, the BOA will certify that the requirements have been met.

The Office of the State Engineer may issue a waiver to this requirement if:

  • The building will have minimal human occupancy;
  • The increased costs of achieving a high-performance green building standard cannot be recouped from decreased operational costs within fifteen years; or
  • The BOA determines that extenuating circumstances exist to make impractical high-performance green building standard certification.

Any waivers issued or new construction that failed to meet the requirements must be reported annually by the BOA to the state legislature. 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: South Dakota
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site: https://boa.sd.gov/state-engineer/default.aspx
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Combined Heat & Power
  • Daylighting
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
Green Building Requirement: U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certified rating, two-globe rating from GBI, or a comparable rating from an accredited certification program.


Name: SDCL § 5-14-32 et seq.
Date Enacted: 3/17/2008
Name: Senate Bill 134 (includes changes to policy, 2021)


Name: Stacy Watters, PE
Organization: South Dakota Bureau of Administration
Address: 523 E. Capitol Avenue
Pierre SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3466
Email: Stacy.Watters@state.sd.us

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.