Charles Russell, May 9, 2011

The California Building Standards Commission (BSC) has released the first amendments of the CALGreen code for public comments. These proposed amendments will become effective January 1, 2012 and be enforced beginning July 1, 2012. The BSC has presented one set of amendments for the commercial requirements, and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has preesented amendments for the residential CALGreen requirements.

HCD is recommending moderate language changes in the existing code in both the mandatory and appendix sections. Some of the changes in the mandatory sections include:

  • Section 4.303 “Indoor Water Use”
  • Section 4.408 “Construction Waste Reduction”
  • Section 4.502 “Composite Wood Product”
  • Section 4.504 “Environmental Comfort”

In the appendix section, HCD has introduced new language that addresses electric vehicles and a new format for determining compliance with “Recycled Content.” These two items make up the bulk of the changes in the appendix sections.

In the non-residential section of CALGreen, the BSC has also introduced some moderate changes. The biggest challenge is the introduction of a new Division 5.7 “Additions and Alterations to Existing Non-Residential Buildings.” The State is going to apply CALGreen to existing commercial buildings that are either 1000 square feet or greater or have valuation over $200,000. The format for this State amendment comes from the City of Los Angeles. During the initial CALGreen code development, many stakeholders intended to address existing buildings, but the State ran out of time. Consequently, CALGreen currently only applies to new construction. With these amendments, California is finally applying CALGreen to existing buildings.

Here is the webpage so you can reivew the proposed changes: