Santa Clara County - Green Building Policy for County Government Buildings

July 12, 2023


In February 2006, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a Green Building Policy for all county-owned or leased buildings. The standards were revised again in September 2009.

All new buildings over 5,000 square feet are required to meet LEED Silver certification levels, but only buildings over 25,000 square feet must actually register and be certified by the USGBC. For buildings between 5,000 and 25,000 square feet, the building design and the LEED checklist must be reviewed by a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) or LEED Green Associate. The AP or Green Associate must be a registered engineer or architect and must have worked on at least 1 LEED certified building. County-owned residential buildings may use GreenPoint Rated Guidelines instead of LEED.

New buildings must also use renewable energy systems to the extent practicable.

For leased buildings, administration will strive for LEED Existing Building: Operation & Maintenance (EB:O&M) and/or LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) as appropriate.

The County is also working to develop a LEED EB:O&M Initiative for all existing buildings.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: California
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Fuel Cells using Non-Renewable Fuels
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Green Building Requirement: All new buildings over 5,000 square feet are required to meet LEED Silver certification levels
Renewable Energy Requirement: New buildings must use renewable energy systems to the extent practicable


Name: Board of Supervisor's Policy Manual § 7.14
Date Enacted: 02/22/2006 (subsequently amended)


Name: General Contact
Organization: County of Santa Clara Office of Sustainabilit
Address: 2310 N. 1st Street, Suite 106
San Jose CA 95131
Phone: (408) 993-4760

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.