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California adopts first statewide green building code

0115-LEED_full_600Photo caption: The Living Roof, a 2.5 acre rooftop above the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park on November 5, 2009. Some say the new 'Calgreen' voluntary rating system clashes with the museum's LEED rating system. Robert Galbraith/Reuters/File

California continues to take the national lead in environmental protection. The California Building Standards Commission voted unanimously this week to approve the first statewide green building code.

Taking effect January 2011, the nation's first mandatory green building code – dubbed “CalGreen” – lays out specific constraints for newly constructed buildings. It requires builders to install plumbing that cuts indoor water use by as much as 20 percent, to divert 50 percent of construction waste from landfills to recycling, and to use low-pollutant paints, carpets, and floors. It also mandates inspection of energy systems to ensure that heaters, air conditioners, and other mechanical equipment are working efficiently. And for non-residential buildings, it requires the installation of water meters for different uses.

The code also allows local jurisdictions, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, to retain stricter green building standards, if they already exist, or to adopt stricter versions of the state code if they choose. It's the first state in the nation to mandate a green building code.

See the whole story at the Christian Science Monitor:

1 Comment on California adopts first statewide green building code

  1. I love the fact that the new Academy of Sciences building is so eco friendly, but unfortunately when they tore down the old building and put up the new one, some of the best stuff got lost in the transistion. I was so excited when it reopened I was even willing to stand in line for about an hour and a half just to get it. However, for those of us who fondly remember the old building, with the alligator pit, and the large spacious African section, and the fish round-about (which was the coolest aquarium display I have ever seen), the new one is terrible. It’s like losing a high quality local hardware store to a Home Depot (except in this case the old building was, or at least felt, much larger). Great green building, but compared to the old museum, THEY RUINED IT!!
    Thank you for letting me rant and your blog.
    Kevin –

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