California Green Building Code Update

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A few weeks back I wrote on California's new proposed statewide Green Building Code. This code would be voluntary starting next year and will ratchet to mandatory by mid 2010 to 2011.

It's a huge deal for design and building industries, and for regional and local governments that are either green building leaders or laggards. More on that below.

The code, announced July 17 by Rosario Marin, chairwomen of the California Building Standards Commission, would require that all new state construction be 15 percent more energy efficient 20 percent more water efficient and up to 50 percent more efficient with landscaping water design.

Some quick updates:

  • It's a work in progress. Basic code language has been updated as late as July 30.
  • Looks like it has the strong backing of the California Building Association Industry (CBIA)
  • The announcement was met with resistance at most and indifference at the very least from the US Green Building Council, the group behind the national LEED building standards.
  • The code when legally enacted will retire nation-leading green Title 24 standards with stricter energy standards
  • As it now stands, cities or counties must file with the California Building Standards Committee before before the new code becomes law for their green building ordinances to become effective.

The upshot: the new state green building code has the potential to overrule stricter local green building regulations or less-stringent local exceptions, unless the regional or local government files first with the state for an exception.

Sounds like some interesting negotiations will be occurring on this...


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About the Author

    Warren Karlenzig
Warren Karlenzig, Common Current founder and president, has worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (lead co-author United Nations Shanghai Manual: A Guide to Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2011); United Nations Center for Regional Development (training of mayors from 13 Asian nations on city sustainable economic development and technology); provinces of Guizhou and Guangdong, China (urban sustainability master planning and green city standards); the United States White House and Environmental Protection Agency (Eco-Industrial Park planning and Industrial Ecology primer); the nation of South Korea ("New Cities Green Metrics"); The European Union ("Green and Connected Cities Initiative"); the State of California ("Comprehensive Recycling Communities" and "Sustainable Community Plans"); major cities; and the world's largest corporations developing policy, strategy, financing and critical operational capacities for 20 years.

Present and recent clients include the Guangzhou Planning Agency; the Global Forum on Human Settlements; the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bureau; the US Department of State; the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the non-governmental organization Ecocity Builders; a major mixed-use real estate development corporation; an educational sustainability non-profit; and global corporations. Read more here.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Warren Karlenzig published on August 22, 2008 1:26 PM.

The New Los Angeles: Bus, Bike, or Boogie down the Sidewalk was the previous entry in this blog.

San Francisco's Slow Food Nation and Sunday Streets is the next entry in this blog.

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