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Green Building



On Earth Day, April 22, 2008, Mayor Villaraigosa signed into law the Los Angeles Green Building Ordinance, the most far reaching plan of any big city in America to promote green building practices in the private sector.


Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings account for more than 40% of global warming pollution. The ordinance would reduce the City's carbon emissions by more than 80,000 tons by 2012, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road - surpassing any other major city in the country.


The City of Los Angeles has the largest, most aggressive municipal green building plan of any large city in America, but Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council recognize that Los Angeles is growing fast and growing up and also must hold the private sector accountable to their commitment to be friends to our environment.
Developed by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with City Council, the ordinance will create a series of requirements and incentives for developers to meet the US Green Building Council’s Energy and Design (LEED) standards - the country's strictest environmental building standards.


The Green Building Plan is an integral part of the Mayor's Green LA Plan which was unveiled in May 2007. The aggressive and bold plan calls for the City to reduce its carbon footprint by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. The goal goes beyond the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol and is the greatest reduction target of any large U.S. city.


Key Points of the Private Sector Green Building Ordinance


  • Require that all new projects greater than 50 units or 50,000 square feet show compliance with the LEED Certified level.
  • Expedite processing through all departments, if LEED Silver designation is met.
  • Initiate an ongoing review of city codes to ease use of environmentally sound and superior materials and processes.
  • Create a cross-departmental Sustainability Team to review and revise green building policies and specific projects. They will meet weekly so that the development community can enjoy ongoing interaction with City staff.
  • Direct City General Managers and department and agency heads (namely Planning, Building and Safety, Public Works, Water and Power, Transportation, and CRA) to train and certify their staff in green building methods and policies and/or as LEED Accredited Professionals. This training should be ongoing and appear in each departmental annual budget.
  • Work with the Board of DWP Commissioners to continue to add DWP financial incentives for projects that meet green building standards.
  • Create and confer the Mayor’s Annual Award of Excellence in Sustainable Design & Construction to recognize exemplary efforts by individuals and companies in the private sector.

For more information contact:
Krista Kline –
Urban Planning & Design Coordinator
Mayor's Office of Commercial & Residential Development



Building a Green LA Information