Highlights of CALGreen 2010: California’s New Green Building Standards Code

Some of you may have heard that in an effort to reduce water and electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the State of California passed new green building code standards in 2010. This new code (pdf) becomes law on January 1, 2011!

I recently attended a seminar studying the new 2010 CALGreen Code and wanted to share a few highlights that will affect every new residential and commercial building that is submitted for permits after January 1, 2001:

  • A storm water drainage and retention plan will be required on all projects.
  • 20% reduction in both indoor and outdoor water use. This can be achieved by selecting higher efficiency plumbing fixtures.
  • Irrigation controllers are required to be weather- or soil-moisture-based to adjust to climatic conditions.
  • 50% of construction and demolition debris to be recycled or salvaged.
  • A building maintenance and operation manual is required on the completion of each project. This will include operation and maintenance manuals.
  • New requirements for the installation of vapor barriers in slab-on-grade foundations to address moisture and mold issues.
  • Bathroom fans not linked to a whole house system are required to have humidistat controls.
  • Heating and air-conditioning systems must now be designed so they are sized correctly.
  • Mechanical system installers must now be certified or receive training to perform work.

These new green building code requirements will initially add to the overall construction costs, but in the long run they will help all of us create more efficient buildings reducing energy and water consumption in our state.

Please contact our office at 619-231-0446 or by email if you would like additional information.

~ Drew Hubbell, Architect