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BPC-028 (Applications prior to August 31, 2015) Green Building Program Building Permit Process

Version: 01/07/2020


This document provides an outline of the application, plan check, permit approval, and inspection process for Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department’s Green Building Program.


A green building ordinance has been incorporated into the Sonoma County Code with the goal of supporting and promoting a more sustainable community. All new residential and non-residential structures are subject to the provisions of this ordinance. Agricultural structures are exempt. The full text of this ordinance, including definitions and applicability, can be found on the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department’s (Permit Sonoma) website either through the link to Green Building or the Sonoma County Code in Chapters 7D1 & 7D2. Beginning January 1, 2011, the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen) became effective throughout California. Sonoma County has adopted and amended CalGreen to require CalGreen + Tier 1 level of compliance. This applies to all newly constructed residential and non-residential buildings (unless otherwise noted), but does not apply to additions, alterations or repairs.

Required Application Materials

  1. All items as required on Building Plan Submittal Checklist CSS-003(PDF: 143 kB)
  2. All projects subject to the green building ordinance will be required to have the CalGreen + Tier 1 checklist shall be included with the plans with required work sheets attached prior to initializing the application, including the Green Building Acknowledgment forms (form Green Building Acknowledgment forms BPC-031(PDF: 17 kBSections 1-2).
  3. Waste Management Plan (sample templates available in Chapter 8 CalGreen)
  4. Commissioning Plan (Non-residential only)

Plan Check Process and Approval

  1. Permit Sonoma staff will review and verify that the T-24 energy compliance achieve above 15% normal standards.
  2. Permit Sonoma staff will be required to verify that the submitted plans achieve compliance with all mandatory measures and electives listed on the check list and complete the Green Building Acknowledgment form (form BPC-029 (PDF: 221 kB) for residential and form BPC-030 (PDF: 271 kB) for non-residential).
  3. All plan revisions must clearly indicate any changes to the checklist for verification by Permit Sonoma staff.

The Inspection Process

  1. The applicant or contractor shall coordinate with the Permit Sonoma area inspector to verify that the project has met the obligation of each item listed on the checklist of the approved plans.
  2. The contractor/owner is responsible for coordinating all inspections applicable to the Green Building Program with inspector so that green building inspections can be performed along with other required inspections.
  3. Any modification to the established checklist items must be coordinated with the area inspector. All revisions and supporting documentation must be communicated to the Permit Sonoma Plan Check and/or Inspection staff prior to installation.
  4. The Permit Sonoma building inspector shall be responsible for review of all building code interpretations, inspection approvals, or permit status.
  5. No work shall be concealed without approval by the Building Inspector.
  6. Provide all documentation for verification by inspector of water savings including, but not limited to all technical data sheets for all fixtures and appliances. (Chapter 8 of CalGreen has sample compliance forms and worksheets for water use)
  7. Provide verification form for VOC limit compliance (form BPC-031(PDF: 31 kB) Section 3)
  8. Other verification may be required depending on specific electives chosen. (e.g., Section 4.507. Ducting systems sized and designed using methods designated in this section.)

Authorization to Occupy and Final Permit Approval

  1. Authorization for occupancy shall be the responsibility of the Permit Sonoma Building Inspector.
  2. Occupancy will be contingent upon completion and submission of Implementation Verification section of the Green Building Acknowledgment form (form Nonresidential 2010 Green Building Checklist form BPC-030(PDF: 251 kB)) by the Permit Sonoma Building Inspector.