California is the leading state in energy, sustainability, and smart design and construction practices, and Build It Green’s GreenPoint Rated program is staying on top of the game as well by tweaking their standards toward the ultimate goal of minimal carbon emissions (and eventually zero net energy). Below is a summary of the most significant updates to consider:

  1. High-rise residential projects still require a 10% compliance margin.
  2. Low-rise residential projects now require an EDR delta relative to the project’s climate zone as these projects no longer utilize TDV for compliance purposes under the new code cycle.
  3. All-electric buildings only require a heat pump water heater with a COP of 2.8 or greater. No other performance restrictions apply (including compliance margin requirements).
  4. Projects may use the GPR Energy and Water Calculator to demonstrate a 20% improvement in whole building energy usage as an alternative to the default performance requirements.
  5. CALGreen residential and nonresidential mandatory measures are still prerequisites.
  6. A new prerequisite has been added: Title 24 compliance documentation must be authored by a Certified Energy Analyst (CEA).

GPR Version 8.0 applies to any project permitted under the 2019 building code, which goes into effect January 1st, 2020. Meeting these increased energy standards will likely involve higher usage of photovoltaics and higher efficiency HVAC and domestic hot water systems, but the program now allows for more flexibility through their alternate compliance path options. The additional requirement of a CEA on the project will ensure that your energy models will be properly designed for the highest efficiency possible.


For more information on how to comply with the new requirements for GPR v8, contact VCA Green below:

Moe Fakih, Principal



Contributing Writer: Burke Boydell, CEA, LEED AP Homes