How to Hire a CalGreen Inspector
Knowing how to hire a CalGreen Inspector can be a challenge. There is very little information available on their actual duties and how they fit into the design and
construction process. This leaves owners, architects and contractors unsure of just what they are paying for – and why?
I hope this article will help clarify the scope of services applicable to the typical construction project in California.
The CalGreen Code, formally known as the California Green Building Code, specifies water and energy conservation measures for all new residential and commercial buildings in California. These requirements are in addition to, and complement the requirements, contained within the California Plumbing Code and the California Energy Code.
A CalGreen Inspector must be certified by the International Code Council (ICC) as a “certified Calgreen special inspector”.
There are three primary tasks of a CalGreen Inspector. This article explains the requirements and the duties of the inspector for each of these tasks.
A CalGreen Special Inspector is required by state code on most new commercial and residential construction projects in California.
Filling Out the CalGreen Checklist
The first responsibility of the CalGreen inspector is to fill out the project’s CalGreen checklist. In this case we are “inspecting” the architectural and engineering plans for compliance with the code. After reviewing the checklist, and coordinating any missing information with the architect or designers, we then complete and sign the checklist.
The checklist is submitted as part of the permit application drawings. At CalGreen Energy Services we see many projects that are submitted with boxes that are checked due to the lack of experience with the CalGreen Code. Some of these requirements may burden the project with unnecessary costs, including more expensive materials and costly testing.
The CalGreen Checklist Design Verification
The last page of the checklist requires a signature by the owner, the project architect and the CalGreen Special Inspector. All signatures must be signed for the building permit application. Some jurisdictions do not require these signatures, but most do.
Once it has been verified that all requirements have been noted in the plans and specs, the CalGreen Special Inspector signs and dates the Design Verification form at the end of the checklist. The plans, specs and checklist can then be submitted for permit.
Final Verification After Construction is Complete
The last step in the CalGreen Special Inspector responsibility is the field verification of all items noted under the CalGreen Special Inspector column on the checklist. The document that needs to be signed before beneficial occupancy occurs is called the Implementation Verification form.
It is important to note that not all the items on the checklist are verified by the CGC. Some of the items are reviewed by the local building officials and some are by third party testers. The verification requirements vary by jurisdiction but are always noted in the last
column of the checklist.
Once the project is complete, or nearly complete, the general contractor, architect or owner should contact the CalGreen Special Inspector. The inspector will then visit the site, review copies of the various reports that are required by the contractor and do a field inspection to ensure that all checklist items have been installed or documented.
If any items on the checklist are not complete, the inspector will notify the responsible party, in writing, of the deficiency. Once the deficiency has been addressed the inspector will verify and then sign and date the Implementation Verification form.
The CalGreen Checklist, along with the signed Implementation Verification form, are then submitted to the building department. These are required in order to receive the final Certificate of Occupancy which then allows the building owner to occupy the building.
At CalGreen Energy Services we are specialists in the CalGreen Code. It’s all we do. We respond quickly to emails and voicemails. We will put together a proposal for you right away and can typically start on your project within two days.
Email or call us now to see how we can help you:
For more information on CalGreen see the California Building Standards Commission website:
For some examples of the problems you may encounter by not using a CalGreen specialist, see our informative article here: