STEEL FRAMING ALLIANCE | FRAMEWORK ONLINE
February 3, 2010
MARKETPLACE
 

California Adopts Green Building Codes

Among other regulations kicking in next January: Every new building in California will have to recycle 50 percent of its construction waste.

California officials adopted the country’s first mandatory statewide green building code on Tuesday.

The regulations, called Calgreen, will help the state meet its goal of trimming greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent by 2020.

Beginning next January, every new building in the state will have to reduce water usage by 20 percent and recycle 50 percent of its construction waste instead of sending it to landfills. Commercial buildings will be required to have separate water meters for indoor and outdoor water use. Mandatory inspections of air conditioner, heat and mechanical equipment will be also be instituted for all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet.

Hospitals will not be required to meet the new regulation.

The code, unanimously approved by the California Building Standards Commission, will also allow cities with more stringent green building codes to retain their standards. However, only 10 percent of the state’s cities have adopted any environmental building regulations, said David Walls, executive director of the California Building Standards Commission.

While the code elevates building costs, builders supported the new regulation because they will be able to get green building certification from the state instead of organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council.

The standards will increase the price of a new home by around $1,500, Mr. Walls said.

Although the commission adopted similar standards in July 2008, they were voluntary. By making them mandatory, three million metric tons of emissions will be removed from the air by 2020, according to the California Air Resources Board.

Source: The New York Times, January 15, 2010


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