This page is home to examples of Piedmont projects that are energy efficient and/or sustainable, as well as updates on permitting numbers. Please reach out to adykman[email protected] if you know of a project you think would be a good fit for the page!

Highlight: Permits issued during 2020

In calendar year 2020, the building department approved over 600 permits. This includes solar panels, electric panels upgrades, and other environmental installation decisions. 

Solar -- There were over 75 solar panel and/or battery permits issued in 2020.

Furnaces -- There were fewer than 20 furnace permits approved in 2020. When replacing your furnace, consider a heat pump. Heat pumps are more energy efficient than gas furnaces and can both heat and cool your home.

There are ways to make your appliances cost less. BayREN offers rebates for electric alternatives such as
You can see all the rebates at this webpage


Project Highlight: ADU at 778 Kingston

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Homeowner David Karol recently explained some of the benefits of having an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), some of the challenges the family experienced while building it, and talked about who might benefit from building one.

The Karols moved to Piedmont in 2018 and planned from the beginning to build an ADU for David's mom. They started the permitting process in 2019, and was approved for building in 2020.

The home sits on a long and rectangular lot, which was good for separation between the house and the proposed ADU. Unfortunately, having such a rectangular property meant additional challenges when building. One wall of the garage had to be dismantled in order to get the bulldozer in.

The project was initially rejected by the City Planning Commission, and it was unclear if there would be enough room in the backyard to get the equipment in to build the structure. Having the ADU a certain distance from the street triggered fire related safety regulations, and integrating those into the final project was not simple. Working with Studio G+S Architects and Arani Construction made it easier.

Despite the hurdles, the Karols are happy with the ADU! By the end of 2020, it was ready to live in, and David's mom soon moved in. Although the building is 650 square feet, lots of windows and skylights makes it feel significantly larger. David said, “We wanted it to be enjoyable, not like a dungeon! 650 square feet is not a lot of space, but it feels comfortable.”

Tall ceilings, well thought out kitchen space, and proximity to the main house makes the ADU both convenient and pleasant. David  says that it is nice to be close to a family member, but still far enough away to have some privacy. It’s a great accommodation for a family with different generations in the area.

To learn more about ADU’s and the process in Piedmont, please check out the City’s webpage here. ADU’s are a great way to have a family member join your living space, or rent it out for some passive income. If you have questions, please reach out to a member of the Planning and Building team for more information.