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Photo of the ordinance book.

The Green Building Ordinance for unincorporated communities requires meeting third party standards, such as LEED and GreenPoint Rated.

Green Building Ordinance-Unincorporated Communities

Green buildings provide communities with many benefits. They save water and energy, provide healthy environments, reduce waste, reduce greenhouse gases, and are economical to own and operate. Recognizing the benefits to our community of green building, the County adopted a Green Building Ordinance for residential and commercial properties in unincorporated communities in 2009.

What's the goal of the Green Building Ordinance?

The goal is to promote practices that will reduce water and resource usage, reduce waste, and increase energy efficiency in the construction or remodeling of residential and nonresidential structures. By setting standards beyond state standards, our communities will enjoy buildings that provide a healthy and productive environment for workers, residents, and visitors and are economical to own and operate.

Why green building?

We spend 80% of our time indoors on average, making the health of our buildings directly linked to our personal health. According to data from the United States Department of Energy, structures are responsible for 48% of all greenhouse gas emissions either through construction or operations. To meet the challenge of climate change, building green is one of the most cost effective strategies as technologies allow us construct or remodel buildings that conserve resources and use less energy.

How will the ordinance be implemented?

Anyone applying for a building permit needs to submit documentation for how they meet specific green building standards ("GreenPoint Rated," "LEED®," or certification from a qualified third party), which will be reviewed by the County's Building and/or Planning Departments.

Who will be affected?

All new or rebuilt residential construction greater than 1,000 square feet and all new or rebuilt non-residential construction greater than 3,000 square feet located in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County. Certain industrial or agricultural uses along with qualified historical building are exempt.

When does the ordinance go into effect?

The Green Building ordinance was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on April 28, 2009 and went into effect in June 4, 2009.

For more information, visit: Public Works Green Building Program.