City of Los Angeles Adopts the Green Building Program
On April 22, 2008, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined City Council President
Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Jan Perry, Ed Reyes and Bill Rosendahl to sign the Green
Building Program into law. The Program is expected to reduce the City's carbon emissions
by more than 80,000 tons by 2012, or the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road.
The ordinance establishes a series of incentives and requirements for developers to meet
USGBC LEED® standards. Effective May 29, 2008, the Standard of Sustainable Excellence
gives builders voluntarily committing to pursue LEED Silver certification or higher priority
processing through the Department of City Planning and Expedited Services through the
Bureau of Engineering. These incentives are in addition to the existing Priority Plan Check
processing through the Department of Building and Safety and Priority Service Planning
through the Department of Water and Power. The project team must include a LEED AP,
demonstrate how the project will achieve LEED Silver certification or higher, register with
the USGBC, and attain formal certification.
Effective November 1, 2008, the Standard of Sustainability applies to non-residential
projects 50,000 square feet or above and residential projects 50,000 square feet or above
and seven stories or more. These projects must meet the intent of LEED at the Certified
level. After May 1, 2009, residential projects 50,000 square feet or above, 50 units or
more, and six stories or less must also meet the intent of LEED at the Certified level. The
project team must include a LEED AP and demonstrate how the project meets the intent of
LEED at the Certified level, but is not required to register with the USGBC.
The Green Building Program also establishes the Green Building Team. This cross-
departmental Team fosters conversation between developers and City staff regarding
policy-related issues posing obstacles to building green. Regular public meetings occur
on the first Wednesday of every month. The Team will conduct public outreach, provide
policy recommendations, train City staff, review the Standards, and produce an annual
Green Building Report Card.
More information is available online at EnvironmentLA.org and in the attached