Green Building Green Building
Code Requirements

Update to Santa Monica Green Building "Solar" Ordinance - In Force as of May 26, 2016 

The California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) and California Energy Code (Energy Code) were updated by the State in 2013. The City of Santa Monica adopted these Codes effective January 1, 2014 and July 1, 2014, respectively.  On April 26, 2016 The City of Santa Monica adopted local amendments to the California Energy Code. These amendments are summarized below and are effective as of May 26, 2016. All building permit applications received on or after May 26, 2016 will be subject to these local amendments. 

Solar Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

1) One-and-Two Family Dwelling Solar Photovoltaic Installations 

a) All new one-and-two family dwellings are required to install a solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system. The required installation of the PV system shall be implemented using one of the following methods:

i. Install a solar PV system with a minimum total wattage 1.5 times the square footage of the dwelling (1.5 watts per square foot); or

ii. Install a solar PV system or other renewable energy system that will offset 75%-100% of the Time Dependent Valuation (TDV) energy budget.

iii. Demonstrate that the Time Dependent Valuation (TDV) energy budget is reduced by the same wattage required by (a)(i).

b) The requirements of this Section shall be waived or reduced, by the minimum extent necessary, where production of electric energy from solar panels is technically infeasible due to lack of available and feasible unshaded areas.

c) The requirements of this Section shall take priority if there is a conflict between compliance with Section 4.201.3 and this section.

2) Low-Rise Residential Solar Photovoltaic Installations. 

a) All new Low-Rise Residential dwellings are required to install a solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system. The required installation of the PV system shall be implemented by installing a solar PV system with a minimum total wattage 2.0 times the square footage of the building footprint (2.0 watts per square foot).

b) The requirements of this Section shall be waived or reduced, by the minimum extent necessary where production of electric energy from solar panels is technically infeasible due to lack of available and feasible unshaded areas.

c) The requirements of this Section shall take priority if there is a conflict between compliance with Section 4.201.3 and this section.

3) Non-Residential, High-Rise Residential, Hotels and Motels Solar Photovoltaic Installation. 

a) All new Low-Rise Residential dwellings are required to install a solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system. The required installation of the PV system shall be implemented by installing a solar PV system with a minimum total wattage 2.0 times the square footage of the building footprint (2.0 watts per square foot).

b) The requirements of this Section shall be waived or reduced, by the minimum extent necessary where production of electric energy from solar panels is technically infeasible due to lack of available and feasible unshaded areas.

c) The requirements of this Section shall take priority if there is a conflict between compliance with Section 4.201.3 and this section.

Santa Monica Municipal Code - Green Building

Chapter 8.106 Green Building Standards Code

Chapter 8.108 Green Building, Landscape Design, Resource Conservation and Construction and Demolition Waste Management Standards

2008-2013 Green Building Code Requirments - Historical 

 2008-2013 Sunsetted Code


Last updated: Monday, 12/05/2016

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Sustainability experts from across the nation convened to explore statutory, technological, and engineering barriers to the widespread implementation of water recycling and reuse systems in commercial and residential buildings.
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City of Santa Monica © 2016

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626