Updates on City of San José Services and/or Operations . (English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文)

Building Healthier Structures

Green Building practices promote construction of buildings that are healthier for occupants and the environment.

Sustainable building practices go beyond energy and water conservation to incorporate environmentally sensitive site planning, resource efficient building materials and superior indoor environmental quality. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Lowered energy and water utility costs
  • Enhanced health and productivity
  • Long-term economic returns
  • Reduced environmental impact

Energy and water building performance ordinance

In December 2018, the City of San José voted to adopt the Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance. This ordinance will help the City reach Climate Smart San José's greenhouse gas emission reduction and water conservation goals by encouraging efficiency in large commercial and multifamily buildings.

The ordinance requires commercial and multi-family buildings 20,000 square feet and over to track their yearly whole building energy and water usage data with the EPA platform ENERGYSTAR Portfolio Manager® and share this data with the City. The City will publish a subset of summary data to support market transparency and recognize high-performing buildings across San José. The first reporting deadline for buildings 50,000 square feet and over is May 1, 2019. The first reporting deadline for buildings 20,000 square feet and over is May 1, 2020.

Visit the Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance page for more information about the ordinance, its requirements, education and resources for compliance.

New Construction Green Building Requirements

The City of San José’s Green Building Policies demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment.

In San José all private sector and municipal building projects constructing or adding more than 10,000 square feet of occupied space (as defined in the adopted building code) are required to be designed and constructed to achieve at a minimum the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Rating System Silver level of certification with a goal of reaching LEED Gold or Platinum.

Use our private sector green building checklist to determine if your project requires green building certification.

Municipal Green Building Program

Since 2001, our LEED-certified buildings have demonstrated measurable energy efficiency, water conservation, and improved air and water quality, which improve the environment and reduce operating costs. Visit your local LEED-certified community centers, libraries, and other municipal facilities here:

City Hall

Photo of City of San Jose City Hall City Hall – LEED® Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance™ - San José City Hall was the first city hall in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum Certification for Existing Buildings. The 18-story structure is also the largest LEED-certified municipal building in San José. View the City Hall factsheet.

Community Centers

Mayfair Community Center entrance
Mayfair Community Center – LEED® Certified - The Mayfair Community Center offers a wide range of educational programs in English and Spanish, as well as recreational opportunities for all ages. The neighboring community garden is the oldest and largest in San José. View the Mayfair Community Center factsheet.
Edenvale Great Oaks Community Center entrance sign
Edenvale Great Oaks Community Center – LEED® Gold - Edenvale Community Center is the result of a collaboration of the City of San José, San José Redevelopment Agency and Oak Grove School District. This joint-use facility offers a wide range of programs for all ages. View the Edenvale Great Oaks Community Center factsheet.
Camden Community Center entrance
Camden Community Center – LEED® Certified - Camden Community Center offers a wide range of recreational and educational programs for all ages, making it the physical fitness and learning hub of the neighborhood. View the Camden Community Center factsheet.
Roosevelt Community Center entrance
Roosevelt Community Center – LEED® Gold - Located in Roosevelt Park east of downtown San José, the Roosevelt Community Center offers a wide range of recreational and educational programs for all ages, making it a cornerstone of the neighborhood. View the Roosevelt Community Center factsheet.
Starbird Youth Center entrance
Starbird Youth Center – LEED® Silver - The Starbird Youth Center in Starbird Park — both named after San José's 52nd mayor George Starbird — was completed in 2007. Starbird benefits the community by providing a safe gathering place for youth to learn and socialize. View the Starbird Youth Center factsheet.


East San José Carnegie Branch Library
East San José Carnegie Branch Library – LEED® Silver - Opened in 1908, the East San José Carnegie Branch Library is the last operating public library donated by the Carnegie family in the city. Designated as a City Landmark and listed on the national and state historic registries, it features a renovated historic building and a modern architectural addition. View the East San José Carnegie Branch Library factsheet.
West Valley Branch Library
West Valley Branch Library – LEED® Certified - Located on the southeast corner of Saratoga Avenue and San Tomas Aquino Road, West Valley Branch Library is the City of San José's first LEED certified municipal building and was the first LEED certified public library in the world. View the West Valley Branch Library factsheet.

Other Buildings

Fire Station No. 35
Fire Station No. 35 – LEED® Silver - Fire Station No. 35 serves the City's Edenvale neighborhood, one of the most culturally diverse areas in California according to the 2010 Census. Completed in 2007, the station benefits the community by reducing emergency response times. View the Fire Station No. 35 factsheet.
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo entrance
Environmental Services Building – LEED® Gold - Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has offered conservation-centered outdoor adventure for the whole family since its opening in 1961. It is the first amusement park and zoo to earn LEED© Gold certification for its four acre expansion, including new buildings, rides and exhibits. View the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo factsheet.

Environmental Services Building

Environmental Services Building – LEED® Gold - The Environmental Services Building (ESB) is located at the 2,600-acre San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility on Zanker Road. ESB consists of a Lab Wing and an Office Wing connected by a large circular atrium ESB houses the laboratories and offices for City staff responsible for monitoring, analyzing and processing all water coming in for treatment before being discharged to the Bay or transformed into recycled water. ESB was certified LEED Gold by earning all 19 points available for optimization of energy performance.

San José Airport North Concourse and Terminal B San José Airport North Concourse and Terminal B – LEED® Silver - Norman Y Mineta San José International Airport North Concourse (2010) and Terminal B (2011) were each awarded LEED for New Construction Silver Certification. Green features for the buildings include natural lighting, occupancy sensors for lighting, a programmable lighting control system, high efficiency programmable “smart” heating and cooling system, energy-conserving windows, a high-efficiency ventilation system, recycled construction materials, and water conservation measures that result in 75% less water used than in a similar, conventional building.

San José Central Service Yard

San José Central Service Yard – LEED® Silver - The Central Service Yard is the City's largest materials, vehicle and equipment storage and maintenance facility. Building F is the maintenance headquarters for the City's fleet of vehicles. Building G houses the main office for the City's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services staff. View the San José Central Service Yard factsheet.