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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

Green Remodeling Permit Guide

The Green Remodeling Permit Guide walks through the steps to getting permits for a remodel.  For more information about green building, please see the links for Green Building Program & Requirements and Green Building Resources

Where do I go to get the permits I need for remodeling?
The Permit Service Center (PSC) has a consolidated permit counter which offers services from four separate agencies in one centralized location to issue permits for Building, Zoning, Fire Prevention and Public Works/Engineering. The Permit Specialists at the PSC coordinate review of building permit applications with other City agencies as needed and issue permits when approved.

How do I get a Zoning Permit?
The first step for a residential remodel is to check the site-specific zoning requirements. Zoning staff will help you determine what kind of zoning permit you will need based on your project scope and location. Zoning permits ensure that the location and proposed uses of a building are in accordance with zoning ordinances to minimize negative impacts on neighbors. Many proposed projects require some level of "discretionary review", meaning they are subject to notice to neighbors and in some cases a public hearing.

Do I need a Use Permit? Review project location, scope and plans with Land Use Planning staff to determine type of permit needed. If your project does not require a discretionary use permit, Land Use Planning staff can issue a Zoning Certificate over the counter. Drop by the Zoning Counter in the Permit Service Center (no appointments) or call to verify specific requirements.

Staff determines YES:

  1. Review project plans with Land Use Planning staff to determine whether an Administrative Use Permit or a Use Permit with Public Hearing is required.
  2. Obtain Zoning Project Submittal Requirements document from Permit Service Center. 
  3. Complete a Green Building Checklist.
  4. Submit Application.
  5. Hearing through the Zoning Adjustments Board, if applicable.
  6. Use permit issued.
  7. Apply for Building Permit.

Staff determines NO:

  1. Submit Zoning Certificate application over the counter.
  2. Zoning Certificate is issued.
  3. Apply for Building Permit.

How do I get a Building Permit?
All new building and most remodeling projects require a building permit to protect health, safety and general welfare of the public and building occupants. Staff from the Building and Safety Division review building, plumbing, electrical and mechanical plans for conformance with the California Building Codes, inspect construction projects to ensure they are constructed in conformance with approved building plans and permits, and manage programs to mitigate seismic risk.

Do I need a Building Permit? All new buildings and most remodeling projects require a building permit to protect health, safety and general welfare of the public and building occupants. Check the Planning Department website for more information.

Who Do I Call?

General Information, Customer Service Center: 510-981-CITY

 Additional Links:

Green Building Program & Requirements

Green Building Resources

Green Building Permit Guides

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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD), 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
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(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
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