Search Backing solar panels
Office of Sustainability and the Environment
Green Building Green Building
Historical Green Building Code 2008-2013

Note: The content below is sunsetted code, provided here for reference.

Effective March 28, 2012 the following local amendments to the California Green Building Standards Code were in effect until the State Updates on July 1, 2014.
  • Chapter 8.106 Green Building Standards Code
  • Chapter 8.108 Green Building, Landscape Design, Resource Conservation and Construction and Demolition Waste Management Standards

1) 15% Energy Efficiency  (SMMC 8.106.055, 8.106.180)

All new buildings shall be designed to use 15% less energy than required by the California Energy Code.

2) Solar Pool heating  (SMMC 8.106.055, 8.106.180)

This is a modification to the existing solar pool heating requirement.  The modification clarifies that spas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzis are not subject to the requirement.  It also adds an exemption for situations where solar pool heating would be technically infeasible.  New pools continue to be required to have solar heating be the primary heat source.

3) Pipe Insulation when Replacing a Water Heater (SMMC 8.106.055, 8.106.180)

Whenever a water heater is replaced, exposed and accessible hot water pipes connected to that water heater must be insulated per California Energy Commission requirements

4) Plumbing Fixture water use reduction (SMMC 8.106.057, 8.106.190)

CalGreen requires that new buildings install plumbing fixtures that use 20% less water.  This amendment requires that any new plumbing fixture installed in any new or existing building must achieve the same water use reduction, unless the permit applicant can demonstrate that installing such a fixture would be technically infeasible.

5) 70% Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion  (SMMC 8.108.150)

Previously, projects were required to divert 65% of C&D Waste from the landfill.  Now projects are required to divert 70% of C&D Waste from the landfill.  More information is available from the Resource Recovery and Recycling Division website.

6) Solar Ready  (SMMC 8.106.055, 8.106.180)

All new construction is required to be "solar-ready", by providing adequate roof space for future solar panel installation.  Adequate roof space is unshaded, oriented and sized appropriately, and compliant with Fire Department required setbacks.  Single family homes must provide 250 ft² of roof space; all other buildings must provide 30% of the area of the roof.  Buildings that install a grid-connected solar photovoltaic system are exempt from this requirement.  See the full requirement below.

2008-2011 Code Requirements

For building permit applications between May 22, 2008 and March 27, 2012, please consult the following:

The City of Santa Monica has specific building code requirements for all new construction and substantial remodels.  Refer to the full text here:  Section 8.108 of the Santa MonicaMunicipal Code

These requirements are in four different areas.  Each link below has more information about how to comply with the requirements for that area:

Energy Conservation
All projects must exceed Title 24 energy compliance by 10%.  In addition, all domestic hot water pipes must be insulated from the water heater to the end fixture with at least R-6 insulation for pipes under 2" in diameter (usually this is equivalent to 1 inch thick foam insulation).  All pools that are heated must use solar as the primary heat source.  Solar must be installed with an area of 70% of the surface area of the pool.  If the pool is 1000 square feet, 700 square feet of solar heating panels must be installed.  Applicants may alternatively show that the proposed heating system provides 65% of the annual energy required to heat the pool.

Green Building Materials

Select one material from 5 of the 10 areas on the Green Building Materials list. This material must be used for 50% of building square footage or 100% of building fixtures.  Please include this list in your plans, along with cut sheets or other manufacturer's information that documents the green attributes of the material.

Green BuildingMaterials List

Landscaping and Irrigation
All new construction projects that incorporate landscape and irrigation work require submittal of Landscape and Irrigation Plans.  Landscape and Irrigation Plans for review and approval by the City.  If no landscape and irrigation work is to be done, this needs to be noted on the plans.  If landscape and irrigation is to be done at a later date, plans will be submitted then for an irrigation permit. 
Construction and Demolition Waste
All projects must divert 65% of their construction and demolition waste from the landfill.  This number cannot include inert materials.  

Urban Runoff
New construction may require measures to capture and treat rainwater from the site.  


Last updated: Tuesday, 04/25/2017

New Construction Guide (Updated 2020)

Download (pdf)

Energy Reach Code Cost Effectiveness Studies

 ZNE Cost Effectiveness Study
Download (pdf)

Green Leasing Guide

 Green Leasing Guide Cover Photo
This guide provides commercial tenants and property managers with an intro to green leasing, the value of green leasing, and the factors that go into deciding whether a green lease is the right fit.

Matrix 2.0 Alternative Water Guidelines 

 Matrix Document Banner
download (pdf)
New roadmap for decentralized, alternate water supplies - indoor and outdoor non-potable water regulations streamlined for rainwater, graywater, stormwater, blackwater use.

Solution Finding for Net Zero Water 

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.
Net Zero Water Booklet
download (pdf)


City of Santa Monica © 2021

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