California’s new Green Building Code explained

Greenguard provides this excellent article on California’s new Green Building Code.

In response to California’s new green building code, CALGREEN, which went into effect January 1, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) is now requiring that project teams pursuing CHPS certification in California use low-emitting products. Previously, use of low-emitting materials was optional, while low-VOC content was required. The modification to the CHPS criteria acts as a safeguard against indoor air pollution in schools caused by product off-gassing.

In addition to low-emitting materials, other changes are as follows:

  • Reduce Sewage Conveyance from Toilets and Urinals: Because CALGREEN requires a 20% reduction, CHPS added a new prerequisite to reflect this mandatory measure. The credit for reduced sewage conveyance is maintained at 2 points for 35% reduction.
  • Reduce Indoor Potable Water Use: Because CALGREEN now requires 20% reduction over baseline, CHPS added a prerequisite to reflect the new mandatory measure and changed the credit to be 1 point for a 30% reduction over baseline and continue with 2 points for a 40% reduction.

  • The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will post code change submittals on March 25 and a hearing on the proposed changes will take place May 16 – 22 in Dallas, Texas.
  • ASHRAE 189.1’s committee and sub-working groups are reviewing maintenance proposals to ensure that the sustainable building code reflects the latest in high-performance building practices.
  • The USGBC wrapped up its first public comment period for the 2012 version of the LEED® Rating System. There are some significant changes to the 2012 version, including changes to the low-emitting interiors credit. A second public comment period will be scheduled for later this year.
  • NAHB opened a public comment period for its National Green Building Standard (ICC-700 2008) for the residential market. As more residential builders embrace “green,” this standard could become a national guide for new homes constructed in the U.S.
  • In response to CALGREEN, the State of California’s mandatory green building code, California’s Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) has begun requiring the use of low-emitting products in their certified schools. (See “Sustainability News” section of this newsletter.)
  • CALGREEN went in to effect on 1/1/11. (See “Sustainability News” section of this newsletter.)

The U.S. Army announced recently that it has adopted certain requirements of ASHRAE 189.1, the green building standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), as the baseline for its sustainable design and development policy.

Known officially as ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, ASHRAE 189.1 will apply to all new building construction and renovation in U.S. territories, permanent overseas Active Army installations, Army Reserve Centers, Army National Guard facilities, and Armed Forces Reserve Centers. Combined, these buildings account for more than 954 million square feet, according to an ASHRAE press release.

In addition to guidelines for environmental attributes such as energy efficiency, water consumption, metering, and storm water management, ASHRAE 189.1 requires the use of low-emitting products and materials. As such, GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified products contribute to Indoor Environmental Quality 8.4.2 and Materials 8.5.2 and 8.5.4. The standard also references the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute in its Informative Appendix as a resource for understanding low-emitting materials.

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This entry was published on February 17, 2011 at 12:21 am. It’s filed under Green Certification, Sustainable Building and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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