California adopts nation’s first ‘green’ building standards
August 5, 2009
• New standards are voluntary
• ‘This new code encourages the use of renewable, recyclable, and recycled material’
The nation’s first Green Building Standards Code is now effective in California.
“This new code encourages the use of renewable, recyclable, and recycled material in the building process, requiring all California buildings to be constructed with the environment in mind,” says Dave Walls, executive director of the California Building Standards Commission.
The new code is voluntary.
It encourages the reduction of a building’s potable water use by 20 percent and a reduction beyond California’s Energy Code, which is already one of the most stringent codes for energy efficiency in the nation.
Additionally, the new code establishes methods for what the commission says are significant improvements in water usage for plumbing fixtures, has measures for specific household and landscape water conservation reductions, and establishes a two tiered 15 percent or 30 percent energy savings above current levels for all buildings through a combination of more efficient appliances and windows, better insulation, and other performance enhancing measures.
The code also identifies improvements to air quality, resource conservation, and suggests various site improvements such as parking for hybrid vehicles and better storm water plans.