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San Francisco Imposes Strict Green Building Code

Latest News > Green Building News

Beginning next year, all new buildings and renovation projects in San Francisco will be required to meet strict new environmental requirements under a broad-based green building rating system designed to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint.

The GreenPoints rating system will provide guidelines for efficiency, waste and energy use in large and small-scale commercial and residential projects, according to

The ordinance imposes strict green building requirements on newly constructed residential and commercial buildings, and renovations to existing buildings, according to a press release from the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The ordinance specifically requires newly constructed commercial buildings over 5,000 sq ft, residential buildings over 75 feet in height, and renovations on buildings over 25,000 sq ft to be subject to an unprecedented level of LEED and green building certifications, which makes San Francisco the city with the most stringent green building requirements in the nation, the press release states.

The GreenPoints system parallels the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification. GreenPoints is run by Build It Green, a Bay area nonprofit dedicated to "healthy, energy and resource-efficient buildings in California."

The code will increase restrictions each successive year until 2012, when all projects must have 75 GreenPoints, equivalent to a LEED Silver certification, says citiesgogreen.

"If we want to get serious about addressing the root causes of global warming, then let's draw down the empty rhetoric and start taking concrete actions," said Mayor Newsom. "A lot of people don't realize that their homes and businesses create a significant portion of our carbon footprint, so today, by signing these strict green building standards into law, we're saying enough is enough. Let's end the stale promises, emphasize conservation, and tackle climate change on all fronts."