Green Building - Berkeley's Best Builders Program

What is Building Green?

A green building is sited, designed, constructed, and operated to enhance the well being of its occupants and minimize the negative impacts on the community and natural environment.

Green Building Consultation

Green building consultations are voluntary. During the consultation, City staff will review your plans and provide information on green building measures that could improve your project. The Planning Department offers complimentary green building consultations for all permit applicants. There is no charge for this consultation service. Contact greenbuilding@cityofberkeley.info to schedule an appointment.

Green Building Checklist

A Green Building Checklist is required in the planning and construction phases.  Large Scale Development Projects and new buildings with one or more dwelling unit are required to complete a Green Building Checklist and update it throughout the project. Complete a Green Building Checklist using the appropriate Green Building rating tool for your project.  A copy of the Green Building Checklist must be included with your Use Permit application.

1. Update the checklist to reflect any changes to the Green Building Checklist prior to the ZAB (Zoning Administration Board) hearing. The project’s green building features and score will be summarized in the ZAB staff report. 

2. Condition of Approval: Update the Green Building Checklist reporting and commenting on any revisions to previous versions of your Green Building Checklist prior to issuance of the Building Permit. The total number of points or credits shown on the checklist at that time will be considered a project commitment. 

3. Update and sign a final copy of the Green Building Checklist to reflect final as-built conditions, including the total green building score, prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy or final building inspection.

Energy Conservation Analysis

An energy conservation analysis is required in the planning and construction phases. Projects with over 10,000 square feet of new non-residential floor area are required to submit an Energy Conservation Analysis.  The California Multifamily New Homes Program offers Multi-family projects design assistance and cash incentives, for information check the program administrator's website at Heschong Mahone Group. The Energy Conservation Analysis is available at no cost from PG&E’s Non-Residential New Construction program, Savings By Design, or can be provided by a qualified consultant.

Savings By Design Option

Savings By Design is a program administered by PG&E that offers free design assistance, analysis and resources to help building owners and design teams with energy-efficient building design.  Incentives up to $150,000 for owners, and $50,000 for design teams are available for projects that meet ambitious energy efficiency goals.

1. Contact PG&E and complete an application to participate in their design assistance program. Include a copy of the application with your Use Permit application.

2. Condition of Approval: Submit a Preliminary Energy Conservation Summary Form prior to issuance of the Building Permit.

3. Provide a copy of the request sent to PG&E for completion of the Final Energy Conservation Summary Form prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy or final building inspection.

4. Submit the completed Final Energy Conservation Summary Form.

Consultant Option

1. Hire a qualified consultant to perform the Energy Conservation Analysis. Include a copy of the consultant’s proposal to perform the analysis with your Use Permit application.

2. Condition of Approval: Submit a Preliminary Energy Conservation Summary Form prior to issuance of the Building Permit.

3. Submit the Final Energy Conservation Summary Form prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Energy Conservation Measures

Compliance with conservation measures is required in the plan check phase.  RECO (Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance) and CECO (Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance) were adopted to improve the energy and water efficiency of existing buildings in the City of Berkeley. 

Additional Questions?

For questions about how Green Building Requirements fit into the permit application or building permit process, consult with staff at the Permit Service Center, Zoning Counter, (510) 981-7410.

For additional help with green building questions and finding green materials locally, contact Build It Green, a nonprofit organization that provides Bay Area residents and building professionals a wealth of practical, unbiased information on green building: 888-40-GREEN (888-404-7336)  or visit www.BuildItGreen.org

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