The New California Green Building Code (CalGreen)

On January 1, 2011 the nation’s most stringent green building code CalGreen will go into effect and anyone who goes to pull a building permit will have to comply with the necessary requirements. In order for the state to lower global greenhouse gas emissions it will be necessary to reduce our emissions to 1990 levels.  The other purpose of this code is to improve building concepts and reduce the impacts of conventional development practices and encourage sustainable construction practices in planning, energy efficiency, water efficiency, material conservation and resource efficiency plus improve environment.

The Cal Green building code has a lot of redundancy with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) a green building rating system created by the United States Green Building Council. Prior to CalGreen the State of California adopted a LEED silver requirement for all new state funded construction projects and many California cities, counties also required new building construction be in adhere to LEED certification requirements.  So what this all mean s is that at a minimum in the State of California you must comply with CalGreen building code and depending on what jurisdiction you are working with you may also have to comply with LEED or another green building rating system like Green Point Rated, Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS).  You will need to do some research and check to see all that may apply to your building project.

The CalGreen has mandatory requirements and voluntary measures with two levels of encouraged green building specifications. The California Green Building mandatory measures are mandatory for all building permit issuing agencies to comply with and enforce. The voluntary measures can also be adopted by local jurisdictions if they decide they would like the more stringent tier 1 & tier 2 green requirements.

The Cal Green code was collaboration by several agencies including Air resource Board, integrated Waste Management, department of General Services, department of Water Resources, energy Commission, Public Health. A lot of the new code requirements are borrowed from LEED, CHPS, Build It Green, Green Globes and ASHRAE standards that already exist and are used throughout the world.

The strategy behind CalGreen was utilize a lot of existing good green building practices and not create a whole new system.  Another strategy the state used was not to have to rely on all of the third party green certification entities that may require prolonged reviews, increased cost and excessive fees. can give students a comprehensive overview of the Mandatory plus Tier 1&2 voluntary requirements. We provide a very professional presentation, PowerPoint handouts, online tools, tracking sheets, compliance forms and much more.

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Posted on October 19th, 2010