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Green Building Policies
San José’s commitment to green building began in November 1998, when the City Council approved the creation of a Green Building Task Force. Subsequently, the City’s Green Building Program was established in 2001, and with its launch, San José began and continues to build a legacy of “firsts” in green building:

  • First city in Santa Clara County to adopt a municipal Green Building Policy (2001) 
  • First public library certified by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - West Valley Branch Library (2004)
  • First and only city in the nation to participate in the USGBC’s Portfolio Program Pilot (2007)
  • First city in Santa Clara County to adopt a Green Building Policy requiring mandatory certification for private sector projects based on project type and size (2008)
  • First municipal building in the nation to achieve USGBC LEED-EB (Existing Building) Platinum certification - San José City Hall (2009)

Casa Feliz Studios
Casa Feliz Studios

Private Sector Green Building Policy

The City of San José's Green Building Policy for private sector new construction encourages building owners, architects, developers, and contractors to incorporate meaningful sustainable building goals early in building design process. By using the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Rating System or Build It Green's GreenPoint Rated green building rating systems to document sustainable building features, project teams can publicize their progress. Please see the Private Sector Policy for more details.

 San José City Hall.jpg
San José City Hall
LEED EB Platinum

Municipal Green Building Policy

On June 9, 2001 the municipal Green Building Policy (Council Policy 8-13) was approved requiring all City of San José facilities to be designed to meet the LEED Certified Rating. The revised Green Building Policy (Council Policy 8-13) was approved March 6, 2007 and requires all City of San José municipal projects and projects receiving City funds design, construct and achieve at minimum LEED Silver certification. This applies to all projects constructing new buildings or adding more than 10,000 square feet of occupied space. Please see the Municipal Case Studies for more details.