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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

MPLCP Library Building Programs: Sustainability & Resilience

Leading By Example

The Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 (2025/2030 CECP) provides details on the actions the Commonwealth will undertake through the next decade to ensure the 2025 and 2030 emissions limits are met. The 2025/2030 CECP development is informed by the 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap such that the strategies, policies, and actions outlined in the 2025/2030 CECP will put the Commonwealth on a pathway to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. All state-funded construction, including projects funded through the MPCLP, must uphold and support these goals.

Green Library Incentive

The MPLCP offers a 3% increase to the base grant amount to municipalities that comply with and are certified through one of the following standards:

  • Massachusetts Municipal Opt-in Specialized Code
  • LEED Gold or Platinum level certification
  • Zero Energy certification

The intention to pursue one or more of these programs must be documented in the application in order to qualify. After the project is complete, the municipal building inspector must submit documentation verifying that the project has achieved the requirements for Massachusetts Municipal Opt-in Specialized Code, or official certification documents for LEED or Zero Energy status to the Board within two years of the date of final Certificate of Occupancy to qualify for the incentive. Only one incentive will be awarded per project.

Massachusetts Municipal Opt-in Specialized Code

The Massachusetts Municipal Opt-in Specialized Code is an optional standard. Cities and towns will require an active vote by City council or Town meeting to opt-in to the Specialized Code. When a municipality votes to adopt the Specialized Code, DOER recommends that the requirements take effect for new building permit applications beginning on the next January 1st or July 1st, whichever is a minimum of 6 months after the municipal vote. This specialized code adds higher standards for sustainability and resilience to the Stretch Building Energy Code, revised as of July 2023. Information about both standards can be found at

LEED Certification

The US Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization "committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings." They administer the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, a worldwide effort with certified buildings around the globe. They are one of the best-known standards for verifying sustainable building materials and practices.

While there are four levels of LEED certification, only the Gold and Platinum levels qualify for the Green Library Incentive. The Certified and Silver levels do not.

Zero Energy certification

The International Living Future Institute offers certification in Zero Energy certification, as well as the Living Building Challenge and other programs. Only the Zero Energy certification qualifies for the Green Library Incentive.