Santa Barbara County’s Innovative Building Review Program


The permitting process for buildings projects is a good way to engage with community projects and ensure project leads have resources to make those projects as energy efficient as possible. Santa Barbara County uses an innovative program called the Innovative Building Review Program (IBRP) to offer free energy efficiency consultation on projects led by leadership in the community during permitting. Information on the IBRP as shared on Santa Barbara County’s website is below.

**The IBRP has been updated to the Smart Build Santa Barbara (SB2) Program. Learn more here.**

The Innovative Building Review Program (IBRP) is a free program that advises developers on how to make their developments more energy efficient. The advice is in the form of suggestions which will benefit the construction and operation of your development in a number of ways, including energy efficiency and marketability. The IBRP is made up of local professionals including contractors, architects, engineers, energy consultants, and government officials. These professionals have a tremendous amount of knowledge and interest in innovative, energy-efficient developments. We encourage that you bring your development to the program early in the planning process.

Targets and Incentives

The IBRP provides a number of incentives to participants that reach one of our three target levels. One of the most well-liked incentives is an expedited review of your development’s plan check through the Building & Safety Division. Another is a 50% reduction on the energy plan-check fee. Other incentives are available depending on the target level your development reaches.

To reach a target, your development must exceed Title 24 (California Energy Efficiency Standards) by a certain percentage and include additional energy-efficient features outside the purview of Title 24 (e.g., recycled building materials, drought-tolerant or native plants, alternative energy systems). The Energy-Efficient Menu lists a number of energy-efficient features that you can choose from. Each feature is assigned a point(s). The point total and the percentage improvement upon Title 24 are used to determine the target achieved. The Energy-Efficient Menu also lists the three target levels and the associated incentives.

Learn more on Santa Barbara County’s website here.

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