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City of Fremont – Green Building Program to Address Climate Change

Case Story

Climate Action Connection: Green Building

Green building programs that target large numbers of new homes can have a sizable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Fremont’s green building requirements will help the city meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020.

Community:Fremont (Alameda County)
Population: 215,000


All new single and multi-family residential projects in Fremont that are subject to discretionary approval must incorporate green building measures as a condition of approval.

Program Highlights

  • Green building measures are required for discretionary approval on new multi-family projects and new residential developments and must earn a minimum of 50 points on GreenPoint Rated checklist.
  • A third party must certify that the green building measures are successfully incorporated.
  • Collaboration with a local non-profit to train youth to conduct energy audits on existing homes.

Lessons Learned

  • Incorporating green building standards as part of the discretionary permit process is an effective way to promote sustainable development.

Resources to Learn More

The Rest of the Story…

Fremont is largely built out, but a few large in-fill and under-utilized sites remain available for sizable developments. Many of the sites are designated for high density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The city incorporates green building requirements as a condition of approval for larger developments, instead of using a stand alone green building ordinance. The city estimates its approach will enable it to incorporate green measures into the large majority of new homes in coming years.

Green Building & Other Sustainable Measures

Fremont uses Build It Green’s GreenPoint Rated checklist as its green building standard.

The city also plans to improve energy efficiency in existing homes and is working with a local nonprofit to train youth to conduct in-home energy audits. It is exploring use of AB811 as part of a regional consortium to assist with financing energy improvements to existing homes.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

Fremont plans to reduce locally generated greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020 and will soon prepare a climate action plan with strategies to achieve its goal.

Read Fremont climate leadership case stories on Civic Engagement and Land Use & Community Design.

Compiled May 2009

This case story was prepared in partnership with the California Air Resources Board.

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