Mandatory Green Building Measures (In effect January 1, 2020)

On September 3, 2019, the City Council adopted mandatory local green building and energy code amendments. The local amendments related to building electrification and solar installation are awaiting final approval by the California Energy Commission. Pending approval from the California Energy Commission, the new mandatory local green building and energy code amendments will go into effect on January 1, 2020, concurrent with the 2019 Edition of the California Building Standards Code. The City also adopted mandatory green building measures for the 2016 Code Cycle that are in effect January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019.

Building Electrification

All-electric buildings or "building electrification" refers to buildings that have no natural gas service. All-electric buildings have electric appliances for space and water heating, clothes drying, cooking, and more. By avoiding the use of natural gas, a fossil fuel, an all-electric building has a smaller carbon footprint. This local amendment encourages building electrification by allowing for two options for the construction of new buildings, either constructing an all-electric building or constructing a mixed-fuel building that meets higher efficiency standards that exceed the State’s requirements.


Building TypeReach Code

New Single Family and Duplex buildings

Two compliance pathways:
1) Mixed fuel:  Proposed Design Building shall be 2.5 EDR points less than the Efficiency EDR (roughly 15% above State Code)
2) All-electric:  0% above State Code
New Buildings with Office Use (including mixed-use buildings)Two compliance pathways:
1) Mixed fuel:  10% above State Code
2) All-electric:  0% above State Code
All other building types including Accessory Dwelling UnitsNo local amendment


Solar Installation

The 2019 Edition of the Building Standards Code will require solar installation on new construction of low-rise residential projects. The City's reach code mandates minimum size solar photovoltaic installations on all other types of new construction. As an alternative, all projects may provide a solar hot water (solar thermal) system with a minimum collector area of 40 square feet.

Building TypeReach Code
New Multifamily BuildingsMinimum 3 kilowatt photovoltaic system
New non-residential buildings of less than 10,000 square feetMinimum 3 kilowatt photovoltaic system
New non-residential buildings 10,000 square feet or largerMinimum 5 kilowatt photovoltaic system


Electric Vehicle Readiness

The City's amendment will require a higher number of electric vehicle (EV) Capable parking spaces than what is required by the State for new construction projects. An EV Capable space contains electrical capacity and raceway; however it is not required to contain the actual electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) installed. In addition, the City’s amendment requires new non-residential projects to install EVSE in a portion of their parking spaces.

Building TypeReach Code
New One- and Two-family dwellings and Town-housesRequire complete circuit and receptacle (outlet)
New Multifamily Buildings15% EV Capable spaces
New Non-residential Buildings10% EV Capable spaces and
5% EVSE installed spaces


Resources