City of Oakland - Green Building Policies and Requirements

June 08, 2020


The City of Oakland adopted mandatory green building standards for private development projects on October 19, 2010. This ordinance prescribes minimum green building (see link for definition) requirements for private development (non City of Oakland) projects in Oakland.

On April 21, 2010, the City Planning Commission approved the proposed ordinance for forwarding to the City Council. The regulations apply to new construction, additions or alterations of a certain size, mixed-use, affordable housing, and large landscape projects, as well as the demolition of historic resources. The ordinance will become fully effective starting January 1, 2011, after which the project applicant will generally be required to submit a completed green building checklist, meet minimum green building requirements (LEED), and certify the project through a specific third-party green building rating system.

The ordinance supports one of the City Council's adopted goals to "Develop a Sustainable City," by "maximizing socially and environmentally sustainable growth, including conserving natural resources." The proposal also implements policies and actions in the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE), the Open Space Conservation and Recreation Element (OSCAR), the Historic Preservation Element (HPE) and the Housing Element of the General Plan. Furthermore, the ordinance was a key action item in the draft Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) that was prepared by the Environmental Services Division.

In addition to Oakland's local Green Building Ordinance requirements, certain projects will also need to comply with the California Green Building Code known as CALGreen. CALGreen was adopted in January of 2010 and became effective in January 2011. The 2013 amendments to CALGreen require increased green building performance effective January 1, 2014.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: California
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Web Site:
Administrator: City of Oakland Planning and Building
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building


Name: Oakland's Green Building Ordinance
Date Enacted: 04/21/2010
Name: CALGreen - California Green Building Code
Date Enacted: 09/13/2016
Effective Date: 01/01/2014


Name: Heather Klein
Organization: City of Oakland Planning and Building - Green
Phone: (510) 238-3659
Name: City of Oakland Planning and Building
Address: 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland CA 94612

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.