Building Standards Code
California’s Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) includes two parts that contribute to achieving California’s climate and air quality goals. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has authority to adopt energy efficiency building standards for new and existing buildings within the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code), Part 6 of Title 24. Multiple state agencies have authority to propose building standards for the California Green Building Standards (CALGreen Code), Part 11 of Title 24. While the scope of the Energy Code is focused on reducing energy consumption, the CALGreen Code is focused on improving public health, reducing environmental impacts, and encouraging sustainable construction in residential and nonresidential buildings.
California’s Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code includes mandatory measures to support the goals of the State’s greenhouse gas reduction program. The CALGreen Code also promotes healthful indoor and outdoor air quality. It is updated on a triennial basis, with minor revisions every 18 months. In addition to mandatory building standards, the CALGreen Code includes voluntary “reach” standards known as the Tiers, which offer model building code language for local governments that wish to go beyond the minimum statewide requirements. Cities and counties can adopt the Tiers, or other more progressive building standards, as an amendment to the CALGreen Code based on climatic, topographical, or geological conditions.
CARB’s Suggested Code Changes
State agencies with expertise in green building subject areas may suggest CALGreen Code changes to proposing state agencies as authorized by Health and Safety Code Section 18930.5(b). Based on CARB staff expertise in air quality and climate change, CARB has provided suggested changes to the CALGreen Code to ensure it is updated to support CARB programs and regulations including, but not limited to, California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32, Nunez, Statutes of 2006, Chapter 488 and SB 32, Pavley, Statutes of 2016, Chapter 249), Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), and The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375, Steinberg, Statutes of 2006, Chapter 728).
- CARB Technical Analysis: EV Charging Infrastructure Nonresidential CALGreen 2019/2020 Intervening Code Cycle
Proposing and Adopting State Agencies
Several state agencies have the authority to propose building standards and are active in the development of the CALGreen code. The California Department of Housing and Community Development has authority to develop standards for residential construction. The Building Standards Commission (BSC) develops standards for nonresidential buildings. The California Division of the State Architect has authority to develop standards affecting school construction and access compliance. The California Energy Commission has authority to develop standards for energy efficiency. The BSC is responsible for adopting, approving, publishing and implementing the Building Standards Code.