SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California has made headlines again in terms of environmental building practices. In January 2011, the state became the first in the country to create statewide green building codes with the CalGreen Building Code.
As of July 1, a set of improvements and enhancements to the code took effect that set higher standards for saving energy, conserving water and improving indoor air quality.
The new advances to the code encourage building professionals to be more creative in making landscaping and buildings more water-efficient. The “performance method analysis” will promote new products and technologies to be introduced in to the marketplace, as well as increase the green jobs economy.
“The CalGreen Code and its recent modifications have made buildings healthier and, if properly followed, substantially reduce potentially legal liability to business owners who operate venues open to the public, such as lodging and dining facilities,” said Cynthia Grier, environmental and interior design professional with Ecological Life in a statement.
The new code allows design professionals to have a wider range of choices when creating energy-efficient structures since they can use any combination of efficient insulation and windows with renewable energy sources.
Standards for interior building materials will improve as well since acceptable construction methods and materials have been further defined. This lessens the possibility of a building producing harmful toxins as well as the potential for mold and other harmful moisture buildup.
Other modifications aim to reduce the amount of construction waste and byproducts going into landfills. With a current estimate of 2,500 pounds of construction debris per new home ending up in landfills according to the National Association of Home Builders; the new code will cut that number in half.