It’s September. In less than 4 months (January 1, 2011) the State of California will officially adopt the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen). California is the first State in the country to take this step.
Let’s recall the goals of building green buildings. To reduce:
1. Energy Use
2. CO2 emissions
3. Water Use
4. Solid Waste
What does the implementation of this new mandatory Green Building Code mean? What are the implications for owners, designers and builders in California? What makes CalGreen different from LEED or any other point rated system?
I recently attended a seminar put on by Microworks regarding CalGreen and its’ implications once adopted. Ron Fong (LEED AP, PE and the Chair of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the USGBC,) presented to a group of building professionals, and answered a number of the questions listed above. Below are just some of the many points covered during the seminar – credit for the research and information goes to Ron Fong.
A very brief overview of CalGreen:
1) CalGreen will be adopted by the following State Agencies:
a) California Building Standards Commission (CBSC)
b) Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
c) Division of the State Architect (DSA)
d) Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development (OSHPD)
2) CalGreen is located in Part 11 of Title 24 of the CCR
3) CalGreen consists of 8 chapters, Appendices A4 & A5
4) Chapter 1 – Administrative chapter. Scope of the CalGreen Code ONLY applies to new construction, and is not intended to meet requirements of a point rated system.
5) Chapter 4 – Residential Mandatory Measures
6) Chapter 5 – Non-Residential Mandatory Measures
7) Appendix A4 & A5 – Residential & Non Residential Voluntary Measures. There are 2 Tiers within each Appendix. Tier 1 & Tier 2 are voluntary unless adopted by a city, and/or county. Even though both Tiers are voluntary, once you choose to achieve, for example Tier 1, you must meet all of the requirements set forth.
Chapter 8 – Contains compliance forms and worksheets
9) CalGreen categories are similar to LEED & Green Point Rated categories
10) There is no change to Energy Efficiency requirements from current code. But for example, if you choose to fulfill Tier 1, you would have to “(e)xceed the California Energy Code based on the 2008 energy standards requirements by 15 percent.” If you choose to take on the challenge of fulfilling all requirements of Tier 2, you would have to “(e)xceed the California Energy Code based on the 2008 energy standards requirements by 30 percent.”
So what makes CalGreen different than LEED or GreenPoint Rated? A coalition of the USGBC-NCC, BIG, AIA California, Stopwaste.org and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative came together to author a comparative study of CALGreen, LEED and Green Point Rated to consolidate recommendations on how to handle the new Cal Green voluntary measures. This newly published comparative study is available at http://bit.ly/9hqQSW
For much more detailed information on CalGreen, you can download your free PDF of the CalGreen Building Code at http://www.bsc.ca.gov/CALGreen/default.htm