Charles Russell, April 11, 2011

Over 90 days has passed since the new CALGreen code was formally adopted by the State of California. The challenges of this new code are now a reality and must be faced by design professionals and project owners. One important piece of advice: understand the enforcement strategy your local building department is adopting. Understanding the goals and objectives of the building department will help keep the project schedule on pace to achieve a certificate of occupancy on time.

I recommend being proactive with CALGreen when engaging the building department. Establish a clear way to show compliance on the project plans with notes or tables. Demonstrate a process showing field compliance with elements identified in the new code. CALGreen is flexible with regards to field verification.

Many jurisdictions have made available check lists that may be incorporated into the submittal docuemnts. Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Jose, County of Los Angeles, and County of Orange are some of the jursidictions that provide this resource. One suggestion is to insert the CALGreen slip sheets into the CALGreen section of the project plans.