Green Building Program


Green building design, construction and operation can have a significant positive effect on energy and resource efficiency, waste and pollution generation, and the health and productivity of a building's occupants over the life of the structure. The City of Santa Cruz seeks to promote environmental sustainability of natural resources including incentives for waste reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation and climate protection.

2013 Amended Green Building Ordinance

2013 California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen)

A set of user-friendly documents are available to aid in compliance with City and State requirements.

Residential Documents

Residential Guidelines (pdf)

Residential New Construction Checklist (excel)

Residential Remodels/Additions Checklist (excel)

Construction Waste Management Plan (pdf)

2013 CalGreen Chapter 4- Residential Mandatory Measures (pdf)

Non-Residential Documents

Non-Residential Guidelines (pdf)

Non-Residential New Construction Checklist (excel)

Tenant Improvements Checklist (excel)

Construction Waste Management Plan (pdf)

2013 CalGreen Chapter 5- Non Residential Mandatory Measures (pdf)

Earn a Green Building Award!

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The City recognizes projects developed and completed by forward-thinking members of the community. The award process identifies projects utilizing the highest standard for techniques in green construction and sustainable design.

Two award levels are recognized by the City of Santa Cruz based on elements selected using the Green Building Checklist. Both Residential and Non-Residential projects are eligible to participate in the award program. Projects may be issued an Award Certificate for Excellence in Green Building and/or an Award Plaque for Exceptional Design. 

Interested in more Green Focus Programs?


Certified Green Business

Climate Action Program

Recycling and Waste Reduction

San Lorenzo Urban River Project

Water Conservation

Are you ready to GO SOLAR?

Go Solar Santa Cruz 

City of Santa Cruz Solar Informational Brochure (pdf)

Regional Solar Contractors (pdf)


Want to make every drop count?

Water Conservation Rebates

Graywater Informational Brochure (pdf)

Laundry Graywater Agreement (pdf)

Resource Conservation District Publications (external site)

Stormwater Management

Water Resources Management



Staff Contacts

Jennifer Olsen, Green Building Specialist
809 Center Street, Room 206 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
Email Jennifer Olsen

Mark Ellis, Building Official
Email Mark Ellis

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