Green Building

Green building is a whole systems approach to the design, construction and operation of buildings that employs materials and methods that promote natural resource conservation, energy efficiency, and a good indoor air quality. Statewide mandatory requirements related to energy, water, and materials usage within the built environment are established within the California Energy Code and the California Green Building Code (CALGreen).

Cities can modify the codes to add more restrictive provisions based on local conditions as necessary, so long as they are found to be "cost-effective", or that the benefits outweigh the costs over the measure lifetime. Such modifications to the Energy Code and CALGreen are known as "reach codes".  Below are a summary of mandatory and reach code measures in Fremont: 

CALGreen Mandatory Measures for Construction

 The 2016 CALGreen sets forth mandatory measures for the following building types:
  • All new construction
  • Residential additions/alterations that increase the building's conditioned area
  • Non-residential additions greater than 1,000 square feet
  • Non-residential alterations valued at $200,000 and more
Mandatory measure checklists must be included on a plan sheet for all projects subject to these measures. 
In addition to the above, all developments are required to comply with City of Fremont landscape and stormwater development requirements.

Electric Vehicle Readiness

Under 2016 CALGreen, new residential and commercial developments are required to be "EV Capable", meaning they fulfill certain basic requirements that provide for future electric vehicle infrastructure installations. In order to better support Fremont's existing EV ownership levels as well as promote further EV adoption, the City of Fremont adopted an EV reach code that goes significantly beyond the CALGreen mandatory measures to require:

  • Residential and non-residential new construction projects and additions where additional parking spaces are provided must include "EV Ready" parking spaces equipped with the electrical raceway, wiring, and electrical circuit. (FMC 15.48.030 & FMC 15.48.040)
  • Single-family residential projects must provide one EV Ready parking spaces per each dwelling unit. (FMC 15.48.050)
  • Multifamily residential projects of 3 units or more and all non-residential projects must provide EV Readiness for approximately 10 percent of the total number of new parking spaces. This is equivalent to the Tier 2 CALGreen option for non-residential developments. (FMC 15.48.050 & FMC 15.48.060)
  • All "EV Ready" parking spaces must also be equipped with the EV charging unit. (FMC 18.183.172 & FMC 18.183.174)
EV Readiness Requirement Handout

Commercial Outdoor Lighting

To promote the use of high-efficiency LED lighting in outdoor applications, the City of Fremont adopted a reach code that reduces the maximum allowable wattages of outdoor lighting fixtures in new Commercial construction projects and major retrofits. (FMC 15.44.030)

Outdoor Lighting Requirement Handout

Mandatory Solar for Residential Construction

Under the 2016 California Energy Code, new residential and non-residential developments must be designed to be “solar ready” by providing for a solar zone and a solar pathway that will enable future solar installations. In order to expedite the adoption of solar technologies, the City of Fremont adopted an energy reach code that goes beyond the minimum provision of solar readiness to require the mandatory installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in new residential developments.

Prescriptive minimum solar PV system sizes are required for residential buildings with up to 4,499 square feet of conditioned space. For buildings 4,500 square feet or above, solar PV systems must be sized to meet a minimum percentage of total building “time dependent valuation” (TDV) energy use. (FMC 15.44.040 & FMC 15.44.050)

Conditioned SpaceMinimum System Size
< 1,000 ft21.5 kW (DC)
1,000 - 1,499 ft21.7 kW (DC)
1,500 - 1,999 ft22.1 kW (DC)
2,000 - 2,499 ft22.4 kW (DC)
2,500 - 2,999 ft22.7 kW (DC)
3,000 - 3,499 ft23.0 kW (DC)
3,500 - 3,999 ft23.2 kW (DC)
4,000 - 4,499 ft23.5 kW (DC)
≥ 4,500 ft255% total TDV

Alternative renewable energy systems including ground-mounted or carport solar or wind energy systems may be considered. Developers may also achieve compliance with the ordinance by meeting the energy efficiency standards established under CALGreen Tier 1.

In addition to meeting minimum system sizing requirements, developers must provide solar readiness beyond the minimum required system sizes. Developers must also offer expanded system sizes to potential buyers. Developers are encouraged to consider expandable solar technologies and to design for all-electric building energy systems.

Mandatory Solar Requirement Handout

Construction and Demolition Debris Requirements

Chapters 4 and 5 of 2016 CALGreen require that applicants recycle and/or salvage for reuse a minimum of 65% of the non-hazardous construction and demolition waste in accordance within this code.

City of Fremont requires that applicants recycle and/or reuse 100% of asphalt and concrete and recycle 65% of the remaining material generated. All plant and tree debris shall be separated from the other material and 100% of the plant and tree material shall be composted. (FMC 8.40)

Applicants shall only use debris boxes from Republic Services. Contact Republic Services at (510) 657-3500
Applicants will need to complete the following forms and submit them along with the permit application.  

Solar Photovoltaic Permits

As an incentive to promote green building practices and reduce community greenhouse gas emissions, the City of Fremont adopted resolutions to reduce solar panel permit costs for both residential and commercial projects. See Solar Panel Installations on how to get a permit.