New buildings in the state of California must now be extra environmentally responsible. Construction for new buildings is under provisions of California’s Green Building Standards Code, which will take effect on January 1, 2011. The new code, CALGREEN, is said to be the first green building code in the U.S—statewide.
The new code for new buildings is said to consist of voluntary and mandatory provisions, which will take effect on new construction and major remodeling projects in California.
The Green Building Standards Code for new buildings began with entirely voluntary provisions that is adopted back in 2008, which is said to take effect last year but with a program to convert its baseline standards to mandatory in the year 2011.
CALGREEN is requiring new buildings to be more sustainable and energy efficient, as well as the following sustainable measures:
- Set a 20% mandatory reduction of indoor water consumption, with voluntary provisions on up to 40 percent reduction;
- Requires separate water meter for every non-residential building’s outdoor and water use, with proper moisture-sensing irrigation system for huge landscape developments;
- About 50 percent diversion of construction waste from landfills, with 65 to 75 percent for new homes, as well as 80% for commercial construction;
- A mandatory inspection for new buildings’ energy systems like air conditioning, heating, and mechanical equipment; and over 10,000 square feet nonresidential buildings must ensure that all systems are working at maximum capacity;
- Require low-pollutant paints, vinyl flooring, particle board, carpets, and other interior materials
According to Jennifer Hernandez, the co-chair of environmental team at Holland & Knight, an international law firm said, an important benefit for the new building code for new buildings in California is bringing the subject of green building accessible to the public.