The Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), a public-private initiative launched by the mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, Calif., has released the Bay Area Green Building Policy Assessment. The report examines Bay area green building policies and includes maps and a matrix detailing local standards and initiatives. In producing the assessment, BACC worked with the USGBC’s Northern California chapter; Build It Green, a nonprofit organization promoting energy- and resource-efficient homes; SF Environment, a collection of environmental professionals in the San Francisco area; StopWaste.org of Alameda County, a joint operation of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reducation and Recycling Board; Recycle Works, a program of San Mateo county; and the Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta Cool Cities campaign.
Among the assessment’s overall findings were:
• In examining 109 cities and counties in the Bay Area, BACC found most of them began adopting required green building standards starting in 2006.
• For municipal and commercial construction the USGBC’s LEED system is used in nearly all adopted municipal and commercial standards.
• For residential construction Build it Green’s Green Point Rated system is used in nearly all adopted residential standards.
• Forty-four cities and counties have adopted required new commercial green building standards and nearly all of them are based on the LEED rating system. Of the 39 cities that have adopted standards based on LEED for new commercial construction, 24 of those cities required LEED ratings such as certified, Silver, or Gold for projects greater than 30,000 square feet, and 15 cities at least require a LEED checklist. LEED Silver is the level of LEED certification most frequently used.
• Fifty-one cities and counties have adopted required new residential green building standards and all of them are based on the Build It Green rating system.
• Numerous cities and counties have adopted standards for residential and commercial remodels and improvements.
• Local approaches to standards typically require higher standards for larger buildings and more flexibility for smaller buildings.
The complete BACC Bay Area Green Building Policy Landscape Assessment maps, matrix, and findings can be found at baclimate.org/impact/green-building-in-bay-area.html.