The Santa Monica City Council voted on April 22nd to approve a slate of amendments to the city’s Green Building Requirements. These requirements will apply to all new construction and significant remodels in the city.

Substantive changes to the existing requirements include an expansion of the compliant green construction materials, increased energy efficiency requirements, improved landscape water conservation, and a higher landfill diversion rate for waste from construction and demolition projects.

Historically, Santa Monica has had green building requirements for commercial, industrial, and residential project of four or more stories. The new green building requirements would apply to all new construction in the city, including single-family and duplex residential projects.

Some specific requirements include using solar heating to heat pools, limiting turfgrass (traditional sod) planting to 20 percent of the landscaping, diverting 65 percent of construction and demolition waste from the landfill, and installing high-efficiency irrigation systems.

The approved measures will lower the cost of home ownership, reduce the burden on the utility infrastructure, curtail the production of greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease the city’s overall water demand.