EPD Australasia

California Green Building Code

California becomes the first US state to address the climate impact of building materials through its building code.

Commencing in July 2024, California’s Green Building Code (CALGreen) will introduce requirements for non-residential buildings larger than 100,000 square feet and school projects exceeding 50,000 square feet to address the climate impact of building materials.

The California Building Standards Commission voted the changes into effect, making California the first US state to implement embodied carbon reduction a requirement in some buildings.

The California Division of the State Architect, American Institute of Architects California, New Buildings Institute, CA Building Standards Commission and many other building industry professionals contributed to the development and passing of the CALGreen mandatory and voluntary embodied carbon amendments.

Three compliance pathways have been outlined in the code:

  • Prescriptive – Source Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and meet maximum GHG emissions targets for all concrete and Buy Clean California Act covered materials
  • Performance – Demonstrate a 10% GHG emissions reduction through Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA)
  • Alternative – Reuse more than 45% of an existing building structure and enclosure

Acknowledgements/Sources:

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