Item 8-A

Council Meeting:  December 5, 2000                                Santa Monica, California

 

 

 

 

TO:                  Mayor and City Council

 

FROM:            City Staff

 

SUBJECT:     Recommendation to Adopt a Resolution and Negative Declaration on the Environmental Impacts of the Green Building Guidelines and Implementing Ordinances; Approve the Green Building Guidelines; Adopt a Resolution Specifying Local Conditions which Justify More Stringent Energy Efficiency Standards; Introduce for First Reading Ordinances Establishing Green Building Standards and Construction and Demolition Material Waste Reduction and Recycling Requirements for New Construction and Substantial Remodels; and Approve Budget Changes as Indicated in the Report

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This report recommends that the City Council adopt a resolution and Negative Declaration on the environmental impacts of the Green Building Guidelines and implementing ordinances; approve the Green Building Guidelines; adopt a resolution specifying local conditions which justify more stringent energy efficiency standards; introduce for first reading ordinances establishing green building standards and construction and demolition material waste reduction and recycling requirements for new construction and substantial remodels; and approve budget changes as indicated in this report.


 

BACKGROUND  

On December 14, 1999, City Council approved in concept the Green Building Design and Construction Guidelines, directed staff to prepare an environmental review of the Guidelines, and directed the City Attorney to draft changes to the Municipal Code to implement the proposed standards of the Guidelines.  The Guidelines (Attachment 1) provide designers, developers, and builders with practical information on how to design and build green buildings as well as how to comply with the City’s current and proposed new standards related to green building construction.  The Guidelines are intended to assist designers and builders in achieving:

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The Guidelines are comprised of both Recommended and Required Practices.  Recommended Practices are voluntary and are intended to offer designers comprehensive and flexible advice on how to achieve high performance buildings. The Required Practices include the two proposed ordinances described in this report as well as existing City standards related to urban runoff mitigation, water efficient irrigation systems, industrial waste, transportation management, recycling and solid waste, and hazardous materials management.  The proposed Green Building Ordinance will apply to all new commercial and multi-family construction and to existing commercial and multi-family buildings for which repair, alteration or rehabilitation costs exceed 50 percent of their replacement cost. The proposed Construction and Demolition Material Ordinance will apply to all construction, demolition, and remodeling projects that cost more than $50,000 or that are 1,000 square feet or more in size.

 

Staff estimates that the average total cumulative cost impact on new development from the proposed green building requirements should not exceed 3% of total project construction costs. It is estimated that these costs would be paid back over a five (5) year period in projected energy and other operating cost savings for the building.

 

DISCUSSION

GREEN BUILDING ORDINANCE

The proposed Green Building Ordinance (Attachment 2) contains standards designed to increase new building efficiencies in the use of energy and water as well as increase the use of recycled-content building materials.

 

Building Energy Performance Requirements

The Green Building Ordinance will require that building permit applicants significantly reduce non-renewable energy consumption below 1998 State Title 24 energy efficiency standards.  The ordinance sets the following performance standards for the indicated building types:

·        25 percent below 1998 Title 24 standards for hotels and motels, office buildings, municipal buildings, and light industrial buildings;

·        20 percent below 1998 Title 24 standards for multi-family residential and retail buildings.

 

The California Energy Commission has reviewed and approved the City’s proposed building energy performance standards (see Attachment 7). The City’s proposed energy performance requirements have been crafted to maintain close compatibility with the State’s Title 24 regulation to facilitate ease of compliance for designers and developers.  For all new buildings except multi-family residential buildings that are three stories or less in height, a computer simulation of energy performance will be required as a part of the submittal process to demonstrate that projected energy consumption achieves the City’s required performance standard. For multi-family residential buildings that are three stories or less in height a prescriptive approach may be followed as an alternative to the computer simulation.

 

Constructive Technologies Group, an energy consulting firm that participated in the development of the City’s energy performance standards, has used grant funding from the Gas Company to develop a software compliance tool that will assist architects, engineers, and developers in demonstrating their compliance with the proposed efficiency standards. The compliance tool, available to an owner or developer at no cost, is intended to be used early in the City’s approval process and will enable them to: 1) identify the energy efficiency features that are optimum for the building; 2) quantify the expected energy savings from these features; and 3) print the necessary compliance documentation to submit to the City.  Building and Safety Division inspectors will check to ensure that the energy efficiency measures indicated in the compliance tool calculations were actually incorporated into the building.

 

Recycled Construction Materials Requirement

The proposed ordinance will require that all new construction projects specify the use of at least four major construction materials with a post-consumer recycled content that meets EPA recycled content guidelines.  Examples of available building products that would meet this requirement include insulation materials, aluminum or steel products, acoustical or roofing tile, carpet, and gypsum board.  This requirement should be relatively easy to meet in light of the current broad availability of recycled materials that meet EPA standards.  City Building and Safety inspectors will ensure that these materials have actually been included in the new building.

 

Solar Water Heating, Pipe Insulation and Heat Trap Requirements

Unglazed solar collectors will be required to heat swimming pool water and to preheat process water used for laundries, car washes, or other commercial applications.  Pipe insulation will be required on all hot water distribution and recirculating systems, and heat traps will be required on all non-circulating hot water heaters and tanks to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water and reduce pipe heat loss. These installations will be inspected for compliance by Building and Safety Division staff.

 

CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION MATERIAL ORDINANCE

In 1999, the City diverted approximately 43 percent of its solid waste from landfills.  It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of solid waste sent to landfills is from construction and demolition activities.  To achieve the State mandated 50 percent waste diversion goal, the City must divert larger amounts of demolition and construction waste. The proposed Construction and Demolition Material Ordinance (Attachment 3) requires that applicants for new construction or demolition permits prepare a Waste Management Plan specifying how at least 60 percent of the waste material from the project will be diverted from landfills.  Applicants will be required to estimate the amounts or quantities of construction and demolition debris to be generated from the project and how this debris will be diverted through reuse or recycling.  The plan must be submitted to the Solid Waste Division for approval before any permit is issued.  Applicants will also be required to submit a summary report at the conclusion of the project that documents the actual levels of reuse and recycling achieved.

 

All construction, demolition, and substantial remodel projects that cost more than $50,000 or that are 1,000 square feet or more in size will need to comply with the proposed ordinance.  In addition, prior to the issuance of a building or demolition permit all covered projects will be required to submit a Performance Security to the City (Performance Bond, Surety Bond, Money Order, Letter of Credit or Certificate of Deposit) which shall be the lesser of three (3) percent of total project cost or $30,000. All or part of the Performance Security amount shall be forfeited to the City in the event of non-compliance by a project and be used to recover City costs associated with sorting and diverting construction and demolition waste at the City’s refuse transfer station/recycling center.

 

LOCAL CONDITIONS RESOLUTION

The attached resolution specifying local conditions (Attachment 6) is required by State law for any jurisdiction that desires to adopt energy efficiency standards that differ from State Title 24. The California Energy Commission has already reviewed and approved the City’s request to adopt the energy efficiency standards in the proposed Green Building Ordinance.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW OF THE GUIDELINES AND IMPLEMENTING ORDINANCES

Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, the City Planning Division prepared an Initial Study to determine if the project would have a significant effect on the environment.  The Initial Study focused its analysis on those new programs, ordinances and recommended practices that may have the potential to result in adverse effects on the environment.  The Initial Study and the proposed Negative Declaration were available for public review and comment between September 14, 2000 and October 17, 2000.  No State or local agency or member of the public submitted comments to the City regarding this matter.  Based on the Initial Study, no potentially significant environmental impacts are anticipated.  A Negative Declaration has been prepared and is recommended for adoption.  This Initial Study and the proposed Negative Declaration are included as Attachment 4.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN BUILDING PROGRAM 

The Building and Safety and Planning Commissions reviewed the proposed ordinances and their comments have been incorporated.  All commercial and multi-family building permit applicants who submit their applications after the effective date of the ordinances will be required to comply with the new standards.  To ensure that building permit applicants are adequately informed about the new green building requirements and available green building resources early in the process, informational materials will be provided to all prospective building permit applicants at their first contact with Planning and Community Development Department or Environmental and Public Works Management Department staff during the plan review and plan check process.  Informational materials will also be mailed to local architects, engineers, and builders, and informational workshops will be convened for the local design and builder communities. 

 

The decisions made during the first phase of the building design process can significantly affect the costs and efficiencies of a building’s operations as well as affect occupant health and productivity.  It is anticipated that builders, mechanical engineers, and architects may request assistance on achieving compliance with the City’s standards during the pre-design, design and construction phases for their building.  It is therefore recommended that Council appropriate $50,000 from the General Fund to professional services accounts in the PCD and EPWM departments to engage the services of sustainable design consultants on an as-needed basis during the remainder of the current fiscal year.  The need for on-going consultant services will be evaluated as part of next fiscal year’s budget preparation process.  These consultants would provide green building technical services and advice to City staff involved in the plan review and plan check processes, assist in the review of initial building plans, and generate recommendations for specific projects on achieving compliance with the City’s green building standards. 

 

BUDGET/FISCAL IMPACT

Approval of the staff recommendations will result in the appropriation of $50,000 from FY

99/00 General Fund savings to the following accounts in the PCD and EPWM departments:

TOTAL      $50,000

 

RECOMMENDATION

This report recommends that the City Council:

  1. Adopt a resolution and Negative Declaration on the environmental impacts of the Green Building Guidelines and implementing ordinances;
  2. Approve the Green Building Guidelines;
  3. Adopt a resolution specifying local conditions which justify more stringent energy efficiency standards;
  4. Introduce for first reading an ordinance establishing green building standards;
  5. Introduce for first reading an ordinance establishing construction and demolition material waste reduction and recycling requirements; and
  6. Approve the budget changes as indicated in the report.

 

Prepared by:  Craig Perkins, Director of Environmental and Public Works

                                    Management

                         Suzanne Frick, Director of Planning and Community Development

                         Barry Rosenbaum, Senior Land Use Attorney

                         Tim McCormick, Building Officer

                         Susan Munves, Energy and Green Building Program Coordinator

 

 

 

Attachment 1: Green Building Design and Construction Guidelines (Not available electronically.  Available in City Clerk’s Office or City libraries).

Attachment 2: Green Building Ordinance

Attachment 3: Waste Reduction and Recycling Ordinance

Attachment 4: Initial Study and

                        Negative Declaration

Attachment 5: Resolution Adopting the Negative Declaration

Attachment 6: Resolution Specifying Local Conditions