• Veteran Builders

Building Policies in California On The Path Of Becoming Eco-Friendly


From 2020, all the new residential constructions in California have to mandatorily include solar rooftop panels. California Building Standards Commission got the final approval for the landmark solar panel last year in December following which the solar rooftop panels were officially included in the state’s building code. The historical judgment has made state of California the first in the country to make solar panels mandatory for both single and multi-family residential constructions. The new policy will not only promote reduction of greenhouse gas emission but also let California residents to save billions of dollars which they spend every year to cover energy costs.

California for years has been framing similar sustainable development policies that have directly helped in reducing the carbon footprint from environment. Many cities in California have also formulated and adopted their own set of eco-friendly building policies to keep everything under control.

Veteran Builders Group brings to you the highlights of green building provisions being adopted across numerous cities in California as a part of the California Green Building Code (CALGreen) –

1. The purpose of the green building policies in California is to encourage sustainable construction in order to have a positive impact on the environment. Rules and regulations have been framed covering different areas that include –

a) Energy efficiency

b) Environmental quality

c) Planning and design

d) Material conservation and resource efficiency

e) Water efficiency and conservation


2. To achieve a CALGreen Tier 1 status, construction projects must show compliance with the latest "Savings By Design, Healthcare Modeling Procedures" edition. Those aiming to accomplish Tier 2 status, must exceed this latest edition of "Savings By Design, Healthcare Modeling Procedures" by at least 15%.


3. Provisions of the CALGreen in California is applicable on different type of constructions that includes –

a) State-Owned buildings

b) Low-Rise residential buildings

c) Schools and colleges monitored by the Division of the State Architect under the California Department of General Services

d) Hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities licensed by the Department of Public Health

e) Hotels, motels, lodging houses, dormitories, and shelters


4. Chapter 4 of the CALGreen Code lists the mandatory measures for residential constructions while Chapter 5 of the CALGreen Code lists the mandatory measures for non-residential ones.


5. The California Energy Code under the California Energy Commission (CEC) is in charge of regulating the energy efficiency of both, the residential as well as non-residential constructions. CALGreen does not have the power to regulate it.


6. What sets the CALGreen apart from other ordinances is that there is no interference from any outside body. Theprerequisites are directly sent to the local jurisdictions for enforcement and are written into their building code. This eliminates the need for any third-party standard like GreenPoint rating.



7. The CALGreen code does mean radical changes for cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco which already have progressive green building ordinances. But, cities which do not already have green building requirements in place, have to buckle up and remodel their policies.


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