First statewide green building code released

The state of California recently adopted the new Green Building Code, making California the first state in the nation to develop such a policy. The new building code, adopted by the California Building Standards Commission, will be amended for publication in the 2007 California Green Building Standards Code, CCR, Title 24, Part 11.

08/01/2008


The state of California recently adopted the new Green Building Code , making California the first state in the nation to develop such a policy. The new building code, adopted by the California Building Standards Commission, will be amended for publication in the 2007 California Green Building Standards Code, CCR, Title 24, Part 11.

The new code calls for a 20% improvement in water use efficiency, 50% increase in water conservation, and 15% reduction in energy consumption in all new construction. The code is voluntary until 2010, when all new construction must comply. “By adopting this first-in-the-nation statewide green building code, California is again leading the way to fight climate change and protect the environment,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

The new green building standard in California will not remain unique for long. Though California is the first state to adopt its own green code, cities such as New York and Chicago have their own sustainability requirements, and some associations are pursuing national standards. The International Code Council (ICC) has been working with the National Assn. of Home Builders to develop a national standard for green homes, and the American National Standards Institute is working on a standard as well.

The issue of a uniform compliance with other councils, agencies, and green building codes is the new task facing the states as individuals and the nation as a whole. The development of state-by-state codes, instead of a national policy, will hinder the overall process of developing more green buildings. “What California has done is not an ICC code,” said Steve Daggers, vice president of communications for the ICC, Washington, D.C. “Until something is adopted, it’s just a piece of paper.” It also should be remembered, Daggers said, that any new code is a baseline, rather than a ceiling.





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