California’s Green Building Code (Part 11 of Title 24) is a mandatory set of green building measures adopted in 2010. Since then, developers have been taking advantage of the synergies between LEED® for Homes v4 to show their customers that their development is differentiated from its peers. Below we’ve listed the top 10 synergies between CALGreen Building Code and LEED for Homes Certification.

1. Low-flow fixtures. The CALGreen residential threshold for rated flow volume across all lavatory faucets (1.2 gpm) is more stringent than the LEED threshold (1.5 gpm). (WE Indoor Water Use)

2. Native/adapted plants. The CALGreen Tier 1 threshold (climate-adapted plants for 75 percent of the plant area; turf shall not exceed 25 percent of the landscape area in residential) is more stringent than the LEED threshold (less than 40 percent turf grass and more than 50 percent native/adapted plants). (WE Outdoor Water Use)

3. Stoves

a. EPA-qualified wood/pellet-burning stoves

b.Natural gas, propane and alcohol stoves: Direct or power venting. (EQ Enhanced Combustion Venting, Option 2: enhanced combustion venting measures.)

4. Adhesives, sealants and caulks. Meet CA Section 01350 for credit. (EQ Low-Emitting Products)

5. Composite wood products. Meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins or no-added formaldehyde based. (EQ Low-Emitting Products)

6. Flooring. Meet CA Section 01350 for credit. (EQ Low-Emitting Products)

7. Insulation. Meet CA Section 01350 for credit. (EQ Low-Emitting Products)

8. Local Exhaust Fans. Have an automatic humidistat controller. (EQ Enhanced Ventilation, Option 1: Enhanced Local Exhaust)

9. Electric Vehicle Charging. Similar minimum specifications. (IN Green Vehicles)

10. Roofing products. CALGreen meets ENERGY STAR-qualified roof material requirements, which is a pathway for non-absorptive materials in LEED. (SS Heat Island Reduction)

Due to these synergies, construction costs differences between California code and LEED are very marginal or nonexistent in some cases.

Furthermore, LEED has recognized the synergies between CALGreen and LEED and have allowed for several Alternate Compliance Paths (ACPs) to streamline LEED credits and prerequisites. This will encourage even more project teams to pursue LEED certification in the state that is leading the green building industry.

If you have questions about CALGreen and LEED for Homes. please visit and contact us with any questions.