CalGreen for Monterey County
The Monterey County Building Department requires the submission of a CalGreen Mandatory Measures checklist for all new residential and commercial building permits.
Residential renovations that increase the home’s conditioned area, volume, or size require compliance with the California Green Building Standards Code (aka CalGreen). You demonstrate compliance with the code by properly filling out the CalGreen Residential Mandatory Measures Checklist and submitting it with your permit application.
Commercial project renovations that have a permit value of $200,000 or more, or an addition greater than 1,000 square feet, require the submission of the CalGreen Non-Residential Mandatory Measures Checklist.
Under the 2019 California Building Code adoption Monterey County has not adopted any of the CalGreen Code Tiers. In addition, there are no LEED or Build It Green requirements. This is good news for Monterey residents as these items add cost to a project with questionable benefits.
The California AIA CalGreen Checklists
The Monterey County Building Department requires the submission of the California AIA’s versions of the residential and non-residential mandatory measures checklists. The state’s chapter of the American Institute of Architects created AutoCad versions of the CalGreen code’s mandatory measures. They can be downloaded from the AIA website. Their intent was to simplify CalGreen compliance by providing “completed forms”.
The problem is that these forms do not provide clear guidance on how to edit or use them. We see many projects that are submitted with the AIA forms that have simply been copied and pasted, without editing.
All AIA CalGreen forms must be edited for the specific project. Failure to do so is ensuring your project will end up costing more money than necessary. It may also result in delays to your occupancy approval as your building inspector enforces all items on your unedited checklist.
It is important to understand that you do not have to comply with every item listed on the AIA checklists. In fact, we rarely see a project that includes all items. It takes detailed knowledge of the CalGreen Code to determine when an item applies to your project. The checklist only excerpts brief sentences from the code and does not explain the exceptions that are shown in the code itself.
Whether you are an owner, architect, or builder the best way to protect yourself from liabilities and project delays is to review your project with a CalGreen specialist.
You can download a PDF of the complete copy of the AIA Residential Mandatory Measures Checklist here.
The Monterey County Building Department Website
The Monterey County Building Department is located at 1441 Schilling Place in Salinas.
When your business revolves around building codes you spend a lot of time dealing with building department’s throughout the state. Many city and county websites have little or no information about code compliance. It can be very frustrating.
Unfortunately, the Monterey County Building Department has not done a job of providing clear direction on the California Green Building Code requirements. In fact, they have exactly zero information on CalGreen compliance. In fact, the published “Single-family Dwelling Building Permit Submittal Requirements” don’t even mention the requirement for CalGreen compliance. However, when you submit your plans for permit you will get the comment, “Submit a completed Calgreen checklist”, from plan review. Now you have to try and figure out exactly what they are asking for, because their website is no help.
Any public entity has an obligation to make its requirements clear enough that the average citizen can understand. However, building department’s are typically on the bottom of the financial rung when it comes to municipal priorities. They barely have the funds available for staffing and training. Updating the building department website is the lowest of priorities. We see this scenario throughout the state.
Getting Help With Your CalGreen Checklist
We are specialists in CalGreen compliance for residential and commercial projects. CalGreen is all we do.
We provide CalGreen checklist services as well as CalGreen commissioning for Monterey County projects.
We have developed in-house procedures that allow us to provide CalGreen permit documents inexpensively and quickly. We have state licensed CalGreen Special Inspectors who will review your plans and help ensure they are in compliance with the code.
In addition, we can typically provide your permit documents within two days. We understand every project has a tight schedule. We will work with you to ensure you have your permit documents when you need them.
At CalGreen Energy Services we are specialists in the CalGreen Code. CalGreen is our only business. If you have a CalGreen question please feel free to give us a call. We are happy to share our knowledge.
Call us today and let us show you how we can help with your project.
Gary Welch has over 35 years experience in the field of sustainable building design. He is the CEO of CalGreen Energy Services. Gary is an ICC Certified CalGreen Special Inspector and Plans Examiner.