Charles Russell, December 13, 2010

I am frequently receiving questions about the application of CALGreen commercial projects that have been completed to the “Shell and Core” phase. These projects were constructed using the 2007 California Building Code (CBC). No tenants have occupied any space in the building. In 2011, tenants will be presenting Tenant Improvement plans to occupy the building. Because CALGreen goes into effect January 1, 2011, how will it be implemented to an existing building?

In speaking with several building officials, I believe the new CALGreen requirements will not be enforced upon the existing building. The reason is that the building was constructed under the 2007 CBC and not the 2010 CBC. Therefore, none of the CALGreen measures were implemented into the new building “Shell and Core,” and there would be some financial burden to retrofit the new building with the 2010 CALGreen requirements. The building was constructed using the 2007 CBC and should be completed with tenant improvements using the 2007 CBC. This view is shared by many building officials, but you should check with your local Building Department for their enforcement interpretation.