Green Building Ordinance (San Francisco Building Code 13C)

The Green Building Ordinance (Chapter 13C of the San Francisco Building Code - if the direct link does not work you can navigate to the code here) reduces energy and water use, diverts waste from landfill, encourages alternate modes of transportation, and supports the health and comfort of building occupants in San Francisco.

The ordinance was informed by the recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on Green Buildings to implement standards to reduce the impacts that buildings in San Francisco have on the environment and on local infrastructure. Adopted in 2008, the city's groundbreaking green building ordinance applies to newly constructed residential and commercial buildings, as well as major renovations to existing buildings. California’s Building Standards Commission subsequently developed Title 24 Part 11, the California Green Building Standards Code, or “CALGreen.”  The Green Building Ordinance was updated in 2010 to combine the mandatory elements of the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code with stricter local requirements, and merge them in Chapter 13C of the San Francisco Building Code.

All new construction in San Francisco must meet all applicable California codes, beat California’s energy code (Title 24 Part 6) by at least 15% and provide on-site facilities for recycling and composting. New residential and many common types of new non-residential buildings (such as office, retail, assembly, and institutional buildings), as well as certain major alterations and first time tenant improvements, must also be built to LEED or GreenPoint Rated standards.

For details on these requirements and tools to help document green building accomplishments, please see the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection’s  Administrative Bulletin AB-093: Implementation of Green Building Regulations.