Green Permit Guides Topic Listing
Electrical Vehicle Charging - Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is gaining speed in Berkeley. A plug-in EV is a vehicle that can operate partially or exclusively on electricity from an on-board battery and can be plugged in to recharge the battery. EVs can provide many benefits for our community, including substantially less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than conventional cars. [more...]
Residential Rainwater Harvesting Systems - What is a Rainwater Harvesting System? Rainwater harvesting is collected precipitation from rooftops and other above-ground impervious surfaces that is stored in catchment tanks for later use. Rainwater harvesting systems can range from a simple barrel at the bottom of a downspout to multiple cisterns with pumps and filtration. Untreated rainwater can be used to water all your outside plants – including edible plants. [more...]
Home Graywater Collection Systems - What is graywater?
Graywater is untreated household wastewater generated from hand washing, laundry and bathing. This wastewater can be diverted from the sewer to irrigate outdoor plants and landscape. Graywater cannot include any wastewater from toilets, kitchen sinks, dishwashers or washing machines laundering soiled diapers or other sources of contamination such as darkrooms. Graywater cannot be stored for more than 24 hours. Graywater is different than potable tap water and requires specific measures for its safe reuse in your garden. [more...]
Healthy Indoor Air Quality with Mechanical Ventilation - While it is important to seal up buildings to prevent drafts, water damage, heat loss and high energy bills, ventilation is key to maintaining the health and safety of a building. Most of our exposure to environmental pollutants occurs from breathing indoor air, which contains up to 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air. Mechanical ventilation replaces stale air from inside a home with fresh air from outside. [more...]
Green Roofs - What is a Green Roof? A green roof, also known as a “living roof” or “vegetated roof,” is a planted roof top garden that offers an attractive and energy-saving alternative to a conventional rooftop. Green roofs are covered with a waterproofing membrane, a growing medium and vegetation. [more...]
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) - Reduce before you produce. The first step in any solar PV installation is to implement conservation measures to reduce energy use. Conservation reduces expenses, greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizes the size of your PV system. For energy savings tips check the PG&E website. [more...]
Solar Thermal Hot Water Installations - In hot water?
Solar thermal hot water is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar energy technology. Solar thermal can supply most of your hot water needs and can even be used to heat your home. Increasing the amount of clean renewable energy is a critical component of the Berkeley community efforts to reduce green house gases. [more...]
Green Remodeling Permit Guide - The Green Remodeling Permit Guide walks through the steps to getting permits for a remodel. For more information about green building, please see the links for Green Building Program & Requirements and Green Building Resources. [more...]
Insulating Your Home for Energy Efficiency and Comfort - Why Insulate? Properly insulating your home will help reduce your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. Insulation is a smart investment because it provides year-round comfort and savings. Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move through interior ceilings, walls, and floors—wherever there is a difference in temperature. Insulating keeps heat where you want it to stay. [more...]
Construction & Demolition Debris Diversion Requirements (BMC 19.24) - Building Permit applicants for the projects listed below are required to divert Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste and debris from landfill disposal in accordance with Construction & Demolition Debris Diversion Requirements (BMC 19.24) and the Berkeley Green Code (BMC 19.37). [more...]
Rainwater Harvesting: Rain Barrels - No permit or city approval is needed for rain barrel systems of 100 gallons or less per vessel, provided all city requirements are met. Rainwater catchment systems over 100 gallons require permits and approval from the City of Berkeley Building Department. [more...]
Graywater Clothes Washer System: Laundry to Landscape - Washing machine systems are the least complicated type of graywater system. They are great for gardens with minimal irrigation needs, are low-cost, easy to install, and require very little maintenance. No permit is required for a clothes washing machine, providing all system design and code requirements are met as outlined in the California Plumbing Code. Permits are required for systems that include tanks or pumps. [more...]