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City of Palo Alto Approves New Green Building and Energy Reach Code Ordinances

On April 20, 2015 the Palo Alto City Council unanimously approved a new green building ordinance and a new energy reach code ordinance, with a targeted effective date of June 20, 2015. 

The ordinances outline local amendments to the 2013 California Green Building Code, Title 24, Chapter 11 and the 2013 California Energy Code, Title 24, Chapter 6.  The California Green Building Code addresses requirements related to site design, water efficiency, materials and air quality. The Energy Code addresses requirements related to energy efficiency. The ordinances will impact both residential and non-residential projects.

Under the direction of City Council, the ordinances were created as a partnership between the Development Services Department and the Palo Alto Green Building Advisory Group (GBAG),. The Palo Alto GBAG is comprised of City officials, architects, contractors, engineers, green building professionals, energy modelers and environmentalists. The GBAG participated in a year-long vetting effort to identify the appropriate direction for requirements. 

"Through the dedicated efforts of the GBAG, coupled with cross-departmental staff collaboration, we were able to propose a set of progressive ordinances that sets a high bar for sustainable building practices while encouraging innovation" said Development Services Director Peter Pirnejad. “The ordinances reflect Palo Alto's vision of environmental stewardship in the area of sustainable building practices.”

For more information about the changes to the green building ordinance, download the Green Building and Energy Ordinance Staff Report

To support the design and construction community in the adoption of the new regulations, the Development Services Department will   provide training and outreach. “By supporting an educated workforce, we will collaborate with our local industry to stay at the forefront of green building and energy efficiency.” The first community training effort is May 13, 2015 at the Palo Alto Downtown Library from 12-1 p.m. Attendance is free and online registration for this event is currently open -  register today.

Last Updated: May 6, 2015