Green Building Program

Carmel-by-the-Sea Department of Community Planning and Building

Green Building Program

The City Council recently approved a Green Building Ordinance related to new construction projects. The purpose of the ordinance is to guide development in a sustainable manner, promote energy efficiency, improve air quality, preserve natural resources and encourage architectural design that is consistent with the City's diverse design traditions.

The ordinance establishes minimum point requirements, based on the attached green building checklists, that applicants must obtain in order to receive a building permit. The ordinance does not become mandatory until August 1st, 2010. 

Prior to January 2010, applicants are required to fill out the appropriate checklist, but are not required to obtain any minimum point level in order to receive a permit.

Green Building Program Steps

  1. Identify the category # and minimum point requirement (see below) for your project and fill them in on the Checklist Form. 
  2. Using the Checklist Form, identify the green items and associated points that will be incorporated into your project. Fill in the proposed points on the form. 
  3. Include the form with the Building Permit Application. 
  4. (This step is not required for projects submitted prior to 1 January 2010.) On your blueprint drawings list each green item in the appropriate plan notes and identify them with an *. For example, if you have selected to useFlyash in concrete you would include a note on the foundation plan that states: *Concrete to include a minimum of 25% Flyash.
  5. During construction, check off each green item on the Checklist Form as it is implemented.
  6. Prior to final inspection, submit the completed Checklist Form to the Department of Community Planning & Building.  

Point Requirements

Category 1:  New Construction (i.e. demo/rebuild) - 60 points
Category 2:  New Addition/Remodel > 750 sq. ft. - 25 points
Category 3:  New Addition/Remodel < 750 sq. ft. - 15 points
Category 4:  Bathroom/Kitchen Remodel only - 4 points


Category 1:  New Construction (i.e. demo/rebuild) - 24 pts.

Category 2:  Additions/Remodels > 1000 sq. ft. - 18 pts.

Category 3:  Additions/Remodels < 1000 sq. ft. - 16 pts.




The following projects are exempt from the Green Building Ordinance:


  1. Re-roofing permits.
  2. Plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits when not associated with remodels or additions.
  3. Seismic retrofits.
  4. Building foundation repairs and/or maintenance.
  5. Repairs and/or reconstruction due to damage caused by fire, explosion, acts of God, or acts of the public enemy. 
  6. Window replacements.
  7. Non-habitable accessory structures of 200 square feet or less.
  8. Retaining walls and/or other site improvements not associated with building construction and/or remodeling. 
  9. Volunteer handicap accessibility upgrades including elevator installation.
  10. Additions and alterations to historic structures.


Residential Checklist

Residential Guidelines

Non-Residential Checklist

Commercial Guidelines