Green Building

At the City of Oakland, we're committed to green building and sustainability. How buildings are constructed greatly impacts the environment, the economy, and our health. Green building can lower those impacts with environmentally friendly ways to design, build, and operate them. It can also save you money! Read below for more about Oakland's green building requirements and links to further resources to get you started.

Ordinances & Code Requirements

Forms & Checklists

Sample Projects

Related Resources

Green Building in Oakland

Green Building Photo - Commercial: Lake Merritt Plaza

The City of Oakland has a long-standing commitment to green building and sustainability, routinely ranked among the greenest U.S. cities. The City recognizes that the construction, operation, and demolition of buildings tremendously impacts the environment, the economy, our health and productivity. Green building reduces the impacts associated with conventional building techniques by focusing on a whole systems and environmentally beneficial approach to the siting, orientation, design, construction, operation, and demolition of buildings and landscapes.

Green building strategies integrate materials and methods that promote natural resource conservation, improve energy efficiency, contribute to the health of employees and residents, and increase economic vitality. Green buildings can also save money on utility bills and decrease maintenance and operation costs. Green building is really just good design, construction and maintenance!

Below are examples of basic green building techniques:

  • Choosing a building location away from habitats on a developed lot near transit options.
  • Siting a building to take advantage of passive heating and cooling methods
  • Reusing and remodeling an existing building
  • Using recycled or sustainable products that preserve natural resources
  • Installation of high efficiency building systems to reduce energy and water consumption
  • Using low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints, adhesives, and sealants and formaldehyde free products to improve indoor air quality

As such, the City has adopted requirements to ensure that new development and additions and alterations meet high green building performance standards. Furthermore, the state has also adopted a Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen). Private developments and City projects might need to comply with one, the other or both laws.

Be sure to review our Summary of Green Building Ordinance Mandatory Requirements & Compliance Standards and review the forms and checklists above to ensure that your project meets local and state green building performance standards.

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