Chapter 24.15
GREEN BUILDING REGULATIONS

Sections:

24.15.010    Purpose and findings.

24.15.020    Definitions.

24.15.030    Standards for compliance.

24.15.040    Exceptions.

24.15.050    Maintenance of document.

24.15.060    Method of compliance.

24.15.070    Exceptional design.

24.15.080    Creation of green building educational resource fund.

24.15.010 PURPOSE AND FINDINGS.

The city finds that 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 building. The second purpose is to create healthy work and living environments increasing the productivity of workers and residents and visitors to the city by improving indoor air quality and lighting.

The intent of this section is to help promote the environmental sustainability of natural resources and improvement of the interior environment by efficiently redirecting the use of recyclable materials away from landfills, by introducing recycled-content and materials created with a low embodied energy materials in construction, and by reducing the energy consumption needs of structures by making use of efficient construction methods.

The city also finds that green design and construction decisions made by the city in the construction and remodeling of city buildings can result in significant cost savings to the city over the life of the buildings. The city also recognizes that it must lead by example in order to have the general populace follow suit and therefore commits itself to the practice of green building for all new and remodeling construction on city owned buildings and structures.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 1 (part), 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.020 DEFINITIONS.

a.    “Addition” means a new building or structure expansion that is physically connected to a previously existing building.

b.    “Guidelines” means a living document amended administratively from time to time to allow for program updates. The guidelines contain standards for program compliance.

c.    “New construction” means a new building not physically connected to a previously existing building.

d.    “Nonhabitable residential structure” means a building on a residential property that is not legally habitable, such as a garage or shed.

e.    “Nonresidential” means not meeting the definition of “residential.”

f.    “Residential” means single-family or multifamily residences, and all other occupancies.

g.    “Remodel” means a change or alteration in a building that does not increase its net square footage.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 1 (part), 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.030 STANDARDS FOR COMPLIANCE.

Persons constructing a new building, adding to or remodeling a building in the city of Santa Cruz shall participate in the Santa Cruz green building program. In order to obtain a building permit for any new building, addition or remodel in excess of those exempted in Section 24.15.040, each project must include elements from the program checklist equal to or exceeding the following compliance standards:

 

Nonresidential New Construction and Addition/Tenant Improvement Compliance Standards

Action Level

Points Required to Receive Action

New Construction

Addition/TI

C-1. Permit Issuance

7

5

C-2. Prioritized Permit Processing

33

29

C-3. Green Building Award Certificate

40

35

C-4. Green Building Plaque for Exceptional Design1

48

42

1    Exceptional design is determined by the principal planner, building official or their designee. The project is eligible for a Green Building Plaque that may be displayed on the structure, and is recognized by the city of Santa Cruz.

 

New Construction Compliance Standards

Action Level

Points Required to Receive Action

First 350 Square Feet1

Each Additional 100 Square Feet

R-N-1. Permit Issuance

20

1.5

R-N-2. Prioritized Permit Processing

45

2.5

R-N-3. Green Building Award Certificate

75

3.5

R-N-4. Green Building Plaque for Exceptional Design2

20% above minimum green building award requirement

1    Decks less than 350 square feet are exempt.

2    Exceptional design is determined by the principal planner, building official or their designee. The project is eligible for a Green Building Plaque that may be displayed on the structure, and is recognized by the city of Santa Cruz.

Remodel/Additions Compliance Standards

Action Level

Points Required to Receive Action

First 350 Square Feet1

Each Additional 100 Square Feet

R-R/A-1. Permit Issuance

15

1.1

R-R/A-2. Prioritized Permit Processing

35

1.9

R-R/A-3. Green Building Award Certificate

45

2.5

R-R/A-4. Green Building Plaque for Exceptional Design2

20% above minimum green building award requirement

1    Exception: no points required for additions or remodels less than 350 square feet or decks less than 350 square feet.

2    Exceptional design is determined by the principal planner, building official or their designee. The project is eligible for a Green Building Plaque that may be displayed on the structure, and is recognized by the city of Santa Cruz.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 2, 2013: Amended 8/1/2008; Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.040 EXCEPTIONS.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

•    Residential additions and remodels of less than three hundred fifty square feet of any dwelling structure.

•    Nonresidential additions and remodels of less than one thousand square feet and interior remodels of any nonresidential structure.

•    Equipment and nonstructural modifications of any residential or nonresidential structure.

•    Nonhabitable residential structures of less than one thousand square feet.

•    General maintenance of any structure.

•    Historical structures where the historic fabric would be compromised.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 3, 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.050 MAINTENANCE OF DOCUMENT.

From time to time, but not less than on a biannual basis, building and planning staff shall update the guidelines and checklist to reflect advances in green building techniques and materials and to make necessary modifications in program implementation.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 4, 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.060 METHOD OF COMPLIANCE.

The chief building official and/or the principal planner shall maintain the following documents for the public:

•    Green Building Guidelines and Checklist

These documents shall be to aid in the design and certification of new residential and nonresidential buildings and remodels and additions thereto. Every applicant of a building permit not exempted by Section 24.15.040, Exceptions, shall complete and submit the appropriate checklist for their project as well along with the standard application documents. All compliance measures shall be clearly delineated on plan sets.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 5, 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.070 EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN.

Designers and builders employing exceptional design, construction practices and/or maintenance features may have their project modified from the strict interpretation of the program if in the opinion of the principal planner or building official such features exhibit at least a twenty percent increase in points over the minimum standards for a green building award as outlined in the Green Building Guidelines and Checklist. Exceptional designs shall also be recognized by the city and be eligible to receive a plaque that may be displayed on the structure.

Projects meeting the requirements for prioritized permit processing as outlined in the guidelines shall receive expedited standard processing timelines. Time is saved during processing of the actual building permit; however, interdepartmental review time is not reduced.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 6 (part), 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).

24.15.080 CREATION OF GREEN BUILDING EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE FUND.

All permits issued by the city of Santa Cruz with the exception of sub-trade permits and permits issued in conjunction with a master permit shall be assessed a fee equal to .0025 times the overall valuation of the project. Revenues collected shall be maintained by the finance department in a revolving green building education fund and shall be used only for program management, public educational purposes such as publications and local seminars.

(Ord. 2013-11 § 6 (part), 2013: Ord. 2005-29 § 1 (part), 2005).