Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008: first state adopts green building code

The California Building Standards Commission announced earlier this month the unanimous adoption of a statewide “green” building code, the first in the nation.

The new standards will call for a 20% improvement in water use efficiency for both residential and commercial plumbing fixtures as well as target a 50% increase in conservation for water used in landscaping.

The new code will also require all new construction to reduce energy consumption by 15%

Governor Schwarzenegger said in a statement on July 17: "By adopting this first-in-the-nation statewide green building code, California is again leading the way to fight climate change and protect the environment."

Carbon emissions from buildings represent about one quarter of the state’s total, second only to transportation. These newly adopted green building standards will help California achieve the goal, mandated in Assembly Bill 32 signed into law by Schwarzenegger two years ago, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020.

Schwarzenegger also introduced his Green Building Initiative directing state agencies to reduce energy consumption for all state-owned buildings 20% by 2015. New construction and renovation of state buildings must meet minimum requirements for LEED Silver certification. Thirteen state buildings are currently LEED certified. (info from Environmental News Network)

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