Part 11 – California Green Building Standards  Code – (referred to as CALGreen)

You can view the CALGreen Code online at the California Building Standards Commission website

  • Purpose – Improve public health, safety, and general welfare by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts having a reduced negative impact or positive environmental impact and encouraging sustainable construction practices in the following categories;
      • Planning and design
      • Energy Efficiency
      • Water efficiency and conservation
      • Material conservation and resource efficiency
      • Environmental quality
      • Voluntary Tiers
  • Scope – Shall apply to the planning, design, operation, construction, use, and occupancy of every newly constructed building or structure, unless otherwise indicated in this Code, throughout  the State of California.

Contents of the CALGreen Code:

  • Chapter 1 – Administration
  • Chapter 2 – Definitions
  • Chapter 3 – Green Building
  • Chapter 4 – Residential Mandatory Measures
  • Chapter 5 – Nonresidential Mandatory Measures
  • Chapter 6 – Reference Organizations and Standards
  • Chapter 7 – Installer and Special Inspector Qualifications
  • Chapter 8 – Compliance Forms and Worksheets


Important topics in the CALGreen Code:

Applicability – Applies to New Construction or Remodels

Compliance divided into two sections (We will focus mainly on the Nonresidential here as that is the main focus of the Exam):

  • Residential 
  • Nonresidential 
    • Applies to all Occupancy Types
    • Applies to newly constructed buildings, building additions of 1,000 s.f. or greater and/or 

building alterations with a permit valuation of $200,000 or above

Chapter 5 – Nonresidential (NOTE: These are MANDATORY measures)

Division 5.1 – Planning & Design

  • Site Development
    • Storm Water Pollution Prevention (SWPP) must be implemented for new construction

and additions which disturb less than one acre and shall prevent the pollution of

stormwater runoff from construction activities.

  • Bicycle Parking – 5 percent of tenant vehicular spaces being added with minimum of 1
  • Designated parking – for low-emitting, fuel efficient cars, carpool/van pool vehicles
  • Light pollution – reduction for Outdoor lighting
  • Grading and Paving – construction plans to indicate how site grading or drainage systems will manage water flow and keep water from entering buildings

Division 5.2 – Energy Efficiency

  • mandatory provisions found in Part 6 of Title 24

Division 5.3 – Water Efficiency and Conservation

  • Water meters
  • Water conserving plumbing fixtures
    • Water closets – not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush
    • Urinals – not exceed 0.5 gallons per flush
    • Showerheads – not exceed 2.0 gallons per minute
  • Wastewater reduction – reduce by 20%
  • Outdoor water use – develop water budget
  • Irrigation controllers – automatic irrigation systems controlled by weather or soil moisture

Division 5.4 – Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency

  • Weather Protection – provide a weather resistant exterior wall and foundation envelope
  • Moisture Control – prevent water intrusion of building
  • Construction waste diversion and management – recycle and/or salvage for reuse a minimum of 50% of nonhazardous construction and demolition waste
  • Recycling by occupants – provide accessible areas that serve entire building for recycling
  • Commissioning – for new buildings 10,000 s.f. or greater
  • Testing and adjusting of systems  – for new buildings less than 10,00 s.f. or new systems to serve an addition or alteration

Division 5.5 – Environmental Quality – items related to Indoor Air Quality including

  • Fireplaces and woodstoves
  • Covering of duct openings and protection of mechanical equipment during construction
  • Finish material pollutant control including adhesives, sealants, caulks, paints and coatings,  carpet systems, and resilient flooring systems
  • Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) control
  • Filters
  • Indoor moisture control
  • Outside air delivery
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring
  • Ozone depletion and greenhouse gas reductions

Voluntary Measures

Voluntary measures (and Tiers) are not mandatory unless adopted by a city or county and provide

additional measures for consideration. Voluntary measures appear in CALGreen as:

  • Appendix A4 – Residential Voluntary Measures
  • Appendix A5 – Nonresidential Voluntary Measures

CALGreen Tier 1 – provisions for achieving enhanced construction or green building measures

CALGreen Tier 2 – more enhanced than Tier 1

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