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.
City of Santa Cruz Green Building Ordinance (amended 2013)
The Santa Cruz Green Building Program extends Prioritized Permit Processing to all projects achieving the 2nd Level of Green Building points through selected Voluntary Measures.
Note that this prioritized processing is limited to GREEN BUILDING plan review and does not include plan reviews by other City Departments.
At plan intake, notify City staff that your project has achieved the Green Building Prioritized Permit Level.
A set of user-friendly documents are available to aid in compliance with City and State requirements.
Residential Guidelines* (pdf) *Under Revision
Santa Cruz Municipal Code 126.96.36.199 Green Building Standards. New accessory dwelling unit construction (not conversion of existing space) shall be required to meet green building prioritized permit processing. Conversion of existing space into an accessory dwelling unit shall be required to meet minimum green building point standards plus fifteen additional points.
Non-Residential Guidelines* (pdf) *Under Revision
Tenant Improvements Checklist (excel)
Earn a Green Building Award!
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?
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Want to make every drop count?
Resource Conservation District Publications (external site)