Green Building & Energy Conservation

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Not only does energy conservation at home and in the office reduce the amount of money you pay in heating bills, it also reduces pollution. Nonrenewable energy sources such as fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) comprise 71.5 percent of our energy sources and the remaining 19.5 percent of electric power is generated through nuclear power plants (Source: USEPA). City plan check engineers review proposed building plans for required minimum energy conservation measures per the California Energy Code and green building standards per the California Green Building Standards Code and the City amendments.

On January 1, 2014 the new statewide California Green Building Code became effective. As part of the adoption process, Manhattan Beach has incorporated several sustainable green measures to be effective at the same time. See Ordinance No. 13-0027 (PDF).

Effective August 6, 2009 the Manhattan Beach City Council approved Sustainable Building Ordinance 2124, which was updated in November 2013 via Ordinance No. 13-0027. This ordinance requires a minimum green rating for new municipal buildings and large non-residential construction. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most universally recognized non-residential third-party green building rating system. This system has four levels—Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—that can be achieved by earning a series of points from seven categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priorities.

Municipal buildings, as noted below, must meet the higher Gold standard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements, including registration of the project. Non-residential construction, as noted below, must meet at least the equivalent of the Silver LEED standard. Applicable non-residential construction need not register the projects. The LEED Silver equivalence would need to be attested to in the permit application by a LEED Accredited Professional and compliance checked before issuance of occupancy permit or final approval of the project. The ordinance applies to the following construction:

1. Municipal buildings 5,000 square feet or more of new construction.

2. Municipal buildings that are 5,000 square feet or more and in which a proposed project exceeds  50% of the replacement valuation of the existing building.

3. Non-residential buildings 10,000 square feet or more of new construction.

4. Non-residential buildings that are 10,000 square feet or more and in which a proposed project exceeds 50% of the replacement valuation of the existing building. 

See Building & Safety handouts regarding Tankless Water Heaters (PDF), Tankless Water Heater Sizing (PDF) and Photovoltaic Solar Panels (PDF).

For more information regarding energy conservation tips and green building designs, please visit the following sites:

On July 5, 2011, the City Council adopted the "green" code amendments for Planning/Zoning and Public Works effective August 4, 2011. Please contact the Planning Division for further details (310) 802-5503.

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