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Green Building Requirements

Last modified: 3/11/2013 9:36 AM

Green building is "a holistic approach to design, construction, and demolition that minimizes the building’s impact on the environment, the occupants, and the community" (California Building Standards Commission).

Green building is an important part of the Santa Clara County Climate Change & Sustainability program. The County is committed to energy efficiency, resource conservation, waste reduction, and the health and productivity of building occupants.

For more information about green building requirements, contact the Building Inspection office at (408) 299-5770.

New California Green Building Code (CALGreen)

Starting January 1, 2011 new building code provisions apply to all new buildings except for residential accessory structures and high-rise residential buildings. The County is developing specific checklists and other materials to help applicants understand the requirements related to building permit application submittal and building inspection. Return to this page regularly for updates.

In the interim, please use the checklist and forms provided on the California Department of Housing and Community Development website at www.hcd.ca.gov/CALGreen.html for one and two-family residential buildings.

For guidance and forms for non-residential buildings, go to the California Building Standards Commission (BSC) website at http://www.bsc.ca.gov/home/calgreen.aspx.  

The CALGreen code and errata, and links to training and other information are also available at the BSC website.

County Green Building Ordinance

The ordinance offers two rating systems to choose from – GreenPoint Rated from Build It Green, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Both rating systems use checklists to evaluate green features and certify green buildings. You must work with a GreenPoint Rater to achieve GreenPoint Rated certification. A list of local Bay Area raters is attached below.  You can also find the complete statewide list at http://www.builditgreen.org/greenpoint-rated/find-rater/.

For guidance on choosing a green building professional for your project, see Thinning the Herd: How to Pick the Best Eco-Builder: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/content/thinning-herd-how-pick-best-eco-builder.

The attachments below provide additional information and assistance to help you navigate the new requirements. The brochure provides an overview of the program; the checklists are provided for your convenience; and the plan check templates demonstrate the preferred format for submittal of checklists with your building permit.

Construction and Demolition Waste Management (GreenPoint Rated)

Debris Recovery Overview
Debris Recovery Strategies
Debris Recovery Plan Form
Santa Clara County C&D Debris Facilities

San Jose Environmental Services C&D Recycling