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Sep 8, 2010 3:00 PM  PST  

Recommendations for Local Green Building Ordinances 

Dear Public Agency Council Member:

As you are aware by now, California has become the first state in the nation to adopt a statewide Green Building Code, known as CALGreen. It is composed of several parts. The basic CALGreen code, which is mandatory, must be adopted by all local jurisdictions prior to January 1, 2011. Optional portions for adoption include Tier 1 and Tier 2; these each include a series of measures that go beyond the basic CALGreen code, also referred to as ‘reach codes’.

As your local government considers how to adopt the new code, Build It Green would like to offer recommendations developed in conjunction with the Bay Area Climate Collaboration, a public-private initiative launched by the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to accelerate the clean energy economy and make the Bay Area a national model.

Please review the recommendation letter and accompanying documents here. They can be found under the CALGreen heading.  

Summary of Recommendations

  1. Prioritize education and enforcement of the CALGreen mandatory provisions.
  2. Where a local leadership standard is desired, continue to apply GreenPoint Rated and the LEED rating systems.
  3. Should a local government adopt a CALGreen Tier, also accept third-party certified LEED or GreenPoint Rated in lieu of the Tier requirements.

Build It Green is also collaborating with other organizations throughout the state (including the American Institute of Architects/California Council; the US Green Building Council; the AIA/San Francisco Chapter; San Francisco Department of the Environment and Alameda County’s to develop and distribute additional comparison documents and provide education to the industry. This collaboration, Green Building Code Educational Collaborative, met with the state agencies that created and published the new code (the California Building Standards Commission-CBSC and Housing and Community Development-HCD), to discuss potential clarifications of the CALGreen Tiers 1 and 2 relative to the established 3rd party programs of LEED (USGBC) and GreenPoint Rated (Build It Green).

The comparison documents formulated through the Green Building Code Educational Collaborative will be distributed within the next week and will be available on Build It Green’s website.

Build It Green and the other members of the collaborative laud the CBSC, HCD and the State of California for adopting CALGreen. We fully support the basic code and look forward to its ability to raise the bar further for green building in our state.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that the GreenPoint Rated New Home checklists have been modified to better align with CALGreen and respond to our multiple stakeholder needs. The GreenPoint Rated Checklist now incorporates these code required (mandatory) measures to facilitate compliance with the code and to allow for verification of the code by GreenPoint Raters upon jurisdictional approval. The modified Checklist will allow the enforcing agency to easily verify compliance with CALGreen for projects utilizing the GreenPoint Rated Checklist and third party verification. Download the Checklists from our website.

We appreciate your consideration of these well-vetted recommendations. Please feel free to contact either me or Tenaya Asan here at Build It Green if we can be of further assistance or answer any questions you may have.


Robert Lee Chase, AIA
Build It Green
Director of Government Relations
510-590-3360 ext 110

Tenaya Asan
Build It Green
GreenPoint Rated Program Manager
510-590-3360 ext 118

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Source: Build It Green

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Tags: Building CALGreen GreenPoint Rated LEED Legislation


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