Santa Barbara County’s Smart Build Santa Barbara (SB2) Program

To support energy efficiency in community projects, the County of Santa Barbara runs the innovative Smart Build Santa Barbara (SB2) program (formerly known as the IBRP), to provide complimentary energy efficiency expertise from community leaders during the permitting process. Information on the SB2 Program from the County’s website is shared below.


The Smart Build Santa Barbara (SB2) Program, formerly known as the Innovative Building Review Program, is a free, voluntary program that encourages applicants early in the planning process to make their new or existing developments more energy efficient and sustainable.  SB2 also promotes development that exceeds the California Energy Efficiency State Standards (also known as Title 24). The ultimate goal of SB2 is to encourage applicants to build developments that use little energy, which are 100% supplied by renewable sources, without forsaking comfort and reasonable building costs.

Description and Structure

Participation in SB2 is available for any project in Santa Barbara County. Participants will receive free advice on energy-efficient strategies and will receive incentives for meeting SB2 energy’s efficient criteria.  SB2‘s advice comes from the SB2 committee, which is made up of local professionals including contractors, architects, engineers, energy consultants, and government officials who have a remarkable amount of knowledge in innovative, energy-efficient and green developments. The Committee’s advice will benefit the design, construction, and operation of the development in a number of ways, including increased marketability, increased comfort, and reduced utility bills. We encourage that you bring your development to the program early in the planning process to reap the most from these benefits.
The SB2 Program consists of two tiers for new and existing development, both of which exceed standard building and energy requirements:

  • Tier 1: Ultra Low Energy Verified
    • Existing and new residential buildings will exceed Title 24 standards by 30% and earning 50 points from the SB2 checklist.
    • Existing and new nonresidential buildings will exceed Title 24 standards by 30% and earning 30 points from the SB2 checklist.
  • Tier 2: Zero Net Energy Design
    • Existing and new residential and non residential buildings shall demonstrate that, over the course of a year, 100% of the energy use will be met using onsite renewable technologies.
    • Existing and new residential buildings will exceed Title 24 standards by 40% and receive 70 points from the SB2 checklist.
    • Existing and new nonresidential buildings will exceed Title 24 standards by 40% and receive 40 points from the SB2 checklist.

Both tiers must meet CALGreen’s mandatory requirements for residential and nonresidential buildings.

Incentives

Participation in SB2 is not a building or zoning permit application requirement; however, the County encourages applicants to take full advantage of the free services listed above. As further incentive, all development plans that meet one of the two voluntary tiers and CALGreen’s mandatory requirements will receive a Santa Barbara County Smart Building Award Certificate. Additional incentives for reaching the two tiers include:

  • Tier 1:  50% reduction in energy plan check fee, expedited Building & Safety Division plan check review process (average 30%-50% time reduction), and use of SB2 logo for marketing.
  • Tier 2:  All Tier 1 incentives and Resolution of Commendation from the County Board of Supervisors.

Learn more about the Program on Santa Barbara County’s website here.

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