California projects submitting for permit on or after July 1, 2024, will need to comply with updates to Title 24, Part 11, better known as CALGreen.

The main changes:

  1. EV Charging: 40% of multifamily, hotel, and motel parking spaces will need Level 2 electric vehicle charging receptacles (EV Ready) and must equip 10% of parking stalls with full Level 2 chargers (50% of parking would address EV).
  2. Life Cycle Cost Assessments: New non-residential projects or renovations totaling 100,000 square feet or more will need to produce a life cycle assessment report. Also: Show 10% reduction in embodied carbon for building enclosure components included in the assessment shall be limited to glazing assemblies, insulation, and exterior finishes.
Increasing Electric Vehicle Parking

Under new CALGreen Chapter Four measures, multifamily buildings, hotels, and motels will be required to reserve 40 percent of parking spaces for low-power Level 2 electric vehicle charging receptacles, known as being “EV ready.” A dedicated branch circuit is required unless determined infeasible.

All must equip 10 percent of parking stalls with Level 2 chargers, half of which need J17772 connectors. Updates also include minimum lengths and widths (18’ x 9’) with one of every 25 charging spots offering a wider aisle space. If adding or altering parking on an existing site, 10 percent of those spaces need to be capable of supporting future Level 2 equipment.

Previously, Chapter Four only required 25 percent EV capable spaces and 5 of parking spaces needed EVCS, or actual charging stations. This iteration also completely removes any inclusion of EV capable spaces for new construction.

Under CALGreen Chapter Five nonresidential measures, installing charging capabilities will reduce the number of EV capable spaces the project is required to provide. The thresholds can be seen in the below table.

Existing nonresidential buildings with no prior EV hook ups or infrastructure undergoing additions or alterations will need to comply with the above thresholds depending on the scope of the project, as will buildings with existing EV infrastructure undergoing specific renovations.

Table describing increases in EV charging spots under the new CALGreen measures

The above table outlines how EV capable spaces will need to be paired with Level 2 or Direct Current Fast Charging infrastructure. For every spot with installed charging infrastructure, the project can reduce the minimum number of EV capable spaces by five.

Prioritizing Building Reuse for Non-Residential Buildings

For existing non-residential buildings 100,000 sq. ft. or more and new non-residential buildings 100,000 sq. ft. or more:

A whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) compliance simulation must be delivered. A WBLCA requires a cradle-to-grave analysis in accordance with ISO 14044 reference standard, excluding the operating energy, and demonstrates a 10 percent reduction in global warming potential (GWP). Components to be included: Building enclosure components included in the assessment shall be limited to glazing assemblies, insulation, and exterior finishes.

Producing Life Cycle Assessments

To conserve materials, reduce carbon emissions, and divert pollution and waste, projects of 100,000 square feet or more, new construction or renovation, will also be subjected to a life cycle assessment. The threshold will increase to 50,000 square feet starting January 2026.

For a performance compliance pathway, the cradle-to-grave analysis will need to demonstrate a 10 percent reduction in global warming potential compared to a similar building’s performance in glazing assemblies, insulation, and exterior finishes. Structural elements to be included in the assessment include footings and foundations, columns, beams, walls, roofs, and floors.

To comply prescriptively, the global warming potential analysis produced during the assessment needs to demonstrate that building products do not exceed maximum values outlined in the below table. Plus, each product is required to have a Type III environmental product declaration (EPD).

One exception here is that concrete can be reported through a weighted average of all mixes used on the project, though the average weight still needs to comply with the thresholds below.

As part of the CALGreen update, new global warming potential thresholds are outlined in this table

Contact a VCA Green principal today to navigate these code changes.

Moe Fakih, Principal
mfakih@vca-green.com

Robyn Vettraino, Principal
rvettraino@vca-green.com