Green Building Working Group

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Green Building Working Group (Note: the GBWG has sunset)


In 2002 the City Council approved the formation of a Green Building Working Group. Initially a group of seventeen interested citizens and staff came together with the following mission:


The mission of this committee is to explore the use of green building products with the intent to apply them to local and regional construction projects and to address sustainable design practices. The program is currently envisioned as a progressive program spread over not more than a 5 year plan, beginning with introductory applications and volunteer compliance followed by introduction of mandatory applications in conjunction with other state and local programs including, but not limited to:

  • Best Management Practices
  • Deconstruction and reuse of materials
  • Erosion control and grading ordinances
  • Energy and waste management
  • Application to residential, commercial, and industrial projects

After nearly three years of work and several different approaches, the Green Building Working Group finally settled on a program based on two already successfully established green building programs. Specifically, for non-residential buildings the guidelines of the LEED© 2.0 was used as the basis of a point driven system in obtaining compliance for permit issuance. For residential buildings, the Alameda Waste Management Authority's program was tapped to also generate a point driven program in obtaining compliance for permit issuance. Both programs were designed to be user friendly and easy to comply with. For people interested in going beyond the minimum standards two different levels of points were established for each system, one to generate accelerated processing and one for both accelerated processing and an awards program. Also, the program full implementation was reduced to two years.

The program was approved by the City Council in October of 2005 and became effective on January 3, 2006. For the first year participation in filling out the Green Building points check list is mandatory, however installation of green building measures is voluntary.

Commencing on January 2, 2007, installation of designated green components becomes mandatory in order to obtain a building permit and a building final. Listed below are the ordinance, new standards and associated check lists. Staff will update these from time to time so make sure to check either here or at the building counter for the latest versions.

The Green Building Working Group has sunset from formal meetings however building staff maintains contact with them and welcomes input from members of the public. If you have ideas that you would like to share with the staff, please e-mail your ideas to the City Planning address below.

Staff Contact:

Mark Ellis, Building Official
809 Center Street, Room 206
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-420-5127,  Fax: 831-420-5434

Additional Information:


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