City of Santa Monica - Green Building Standards (California)

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Last modified on September 25, 2013.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place California

Name City of Santa Monica - Green Building Standards
Incentive Type Building Energy Code
Applicable Sector Commercial, Construction, Industrial, Local Government, Multi-Family Residential, Schools, Hotels, Motels, Retail Stores
Eligible Technologies Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Custom/Others pending approval, Daylighting, Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive No

Implementing Sector Local
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs, Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2006-08-29

References DSIRE[1]


With the exception of one-and-two-family homes and historic buildings, Santa Monica's Green Building Construction and Design Standards apply to all new buildings, and existing buildings whose repair, alteration or rehabilitation costs exceed 50% of their replacement cost.

The standards require all hotels, motels, commercial, institutional, and light industrial buildings to meet an annual energy conservation target that is 15% lower than the corresponding minimally compliant 2001 Title-24 building levels. Multi-family residential and retail buildings must meet a conservation target that is 10% below 2001 Title-24 levels. Builders must use the Santa Monica Energy Code Compliance Application (SMECCA) software program to demonstrate that the buildings meet the energy conservation target.

With respect to renewable energy technologies, solar water heating is mandatory as the primary source to heat swimming pool water and to preheat industrial process water, including but not limited to, car washes and laundries.

To help designers and builders satisfy and surpass the requirements, the City developed Green Building Design and Construction Guidelines, available at the Web site above. These Guidelines include required and recommended practices that are intended to reduce life-cycle environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of both commercial and municipal developments and major remodeling projects in Santa Monica. Among the recommended practices are properly orienting buildings for daylighting and passive solar heating, using solar hot water heating, and incorporating photovoltaic systems into the building fabric.

Santa Monica's Green Building Program offers grants for buildings that achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Solar Energy Design Standards:

The City of Santa Monica’s zoning regulations contain solar energy design standards intended to incorporate, to the extent feasible, passive heating and cooling opportunities into the design or modification of residential developments. While the standards include provisions that require screening of equipment under certain circumstances, they also state that "any pool or spa facilities other than single family homes owned and maintained by a homeowners association, cooperative, or similar entity shall be provided with a solar cover or solar water heating system."

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Susan Munves
Department City of Santa Monica

Address 1212 5th Street
Address 2 First Floor
Place Santa Monica, California
Zip/Postal Code 90401-3126
Phone (310) 458-8229


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Santa Monica Green Building Standards

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"