19
Sep

CalGreen for Commercial Projects

CalGreen for Commercial Projects CalGreen for commercial projects requires the services of a CalGreen specialist. Unfortunately for building owners, this rarely happens. CalGreen for most commercial projects are typically handled by either the architect or the mechanical engineer. These firms rarely have an in-house CalGreen specialist. Instead, the design architect or engineer ends up pasting...
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06
Sep

Title 24 Commissioning

Title 24 Commissioning Title 24 commissioning is required on all new commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet. This requirement comes from the 2019 California Energy Code.  Building Commissioning is the professional practice that ensures buildings are delivered according to the owner’s project requirements and in accordance with the design documents. Buildings that are properly commissioned...
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10
Aug

Cal Green for Factory-Built Homes

Cal Green for Factory-Built Homes Cal Green for factory-built homes can be a grey area for many building departments. In order to understand the issue lets first define “factory-built”. The best source for the legal definition in California comes from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). HCD regulates the manufacturing of factory-built...
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04
Aug

CalGreen Tiers

CalGreen Tiers The CalGreen tiers are the so-called “voluntary” measures of the California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen). The Tier requirements are only “voluntary” for the building department to adopt, or not adopt. If adopted, they are mandatory for your project.  The CalGreen Code is the statewide code requiring sustainable design for residential and non-residential buildings....
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27
Jun

CalGreen and Remodels

CalGreen and Remodels There is some misinformation regarding CalGreen and remodels, or renovations, floating around the internet. CalGreen code compliance is required for any residential remodel that “increases the building’s conditioned area, volume or size”. This is noted in the 2019 Green Building Standards Code, Chapter 3, Green Building, section 301.1.1.  For non-residential additions and alterations,...
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26
Jun

CalGreen – Frequently Asked Questions

CalGreen – Frequently Asked Questions What is CalGreen? CalGreen is an abbreviated reference to the California Green Building Standards Code. The code was first adopted in 2009 and is updated every three years. The code sets minimum requirements for sustainable practices for residential and commercial construction projects throughout the state. What portions of construction are...
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26
Jun

2019 Sonoma County CalGreen Checklists

2019 Sonoma County CalGreen Checklists The Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Division (PRMD) has updated their CalGreen Checklists for the 2019 Green Building Standards Code requirements. The new checklists are (click on title below to download): BPC-065 CalGreen Checklist Residential New Construction BPC-066 CalGreen Checklist Residential Additions and Alterations BPC-068 CalGreen Checklist Non-Residential New...
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17
Jun

CalGreen Mandatory Measures

CalGreen Mandatory Measures CalGreen Mandatory Measures are a requirement of the California Green Building Standards Code. These mandatory measures are required on all new homes and residences. Furthermore, they also apply to additions and alterations which increase the building’s conditioned area, interior volume, or size.  The type of buildings required to comply with the CalGreen...
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15
May

CalGreen and DSA

CalGreen and DSA DSA has updated their requirements for CalGreen as of January 28, 2020.  DSA  has published their own version of the CalGreen Checklist. This document is called “GL-4  Project Submittal Guideline: CalGreen Code.” The Guideline includes both Mandatory and Voluntary Measures. The GL-4 document notes the specific requirements for school projects. It also...
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12
May

Tuolumne County CalGreen

Tuolumne County CalGreen Tuolumne County CalGreen requirements have changed as of January 1, 2020. New residential projects require a 2019 Housing and Community Development (HCD) Calgreen checklist to be submitted along with your permit plans. This is not good news for your project. This extensive twelve page checklist is full of requirements that do not...
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06
May

CalGreen for Your New Home

CalGreen for Your New Home CalGreen for your new home consists of two parts. This first part is filling out the correct CalGreen Checklist for your jurisdiction. The second part is ensuring your architectural, electrical, plumbing and site plans include all of the CalGreen requirements.  Filling out the checklist wrong can add costs and delays...
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16
Apr

Fremont CalGreen

Fremont CalGreen The City of Fremont CalGreen requirements are straightforward. Tier 1 compliance is not required for either residential or commercial projects. However, they do require that an ICC certified CalGreen Special Inspector be involved in the project. The CalGreen Inspector must review the permit documents and verify that all of the mandatory checklist requirements...
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13
Apr

CalGreen Checklist

CalGreen Checklist CalGreen Checklist is a form that is required to be submitted with your building permit application. The purpose of the checklist is to document which California Green Buildings Standard Code items your project will comply with. In addition, the CalGreen Checklist is intended to ensure that your project’s design team has actually incorporated these...
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31
Mar

Santa Rosa CalGreen Commissioning

Santa Rosa CalGreen Commissioning As of January 1, 2020, the city of Santa Rosa will require some level of CalGreen commissioning on every project. This includes buildings that are less than 10,000 square feet. This requirement is part of the 2019 California Energy Code changes and it is independent of the existing CalGreen Commissioning requirements...
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02
Mar

CalGreen for Sacramento County

CalGreen for Sacramento County The Sacramento County CalGreen permit process is confusing due to the complete lack of online information. The county website provides no guidance on the process or what if any amendments they have made to the code. The only clue is to follow the “Upcodes” link to the county municipal code. Once...
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29
Feb

Napa County CalGreen

Napa County CalGreen Requirements The Napa County CalGreen requirements are straightforward when compared to other North Bay building departments. Tier 1 compliance is not required for either residential or commercial projects. However, they do require that an ICC certified CalGreen Special Inspector be involved in the project. The CalGreen Inspector must review the permit documents...
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30
Jan

CalGreen Problems

CalGreen Problems CalGreen problems plague almost every new construction project in California. Resolving these problems has become a large part of our business. The reason for the problems falls into two main categories. The first is the code itself. Both the format and the content of the code are very different from the other California...
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26
Jan

CalGreen Commissioning

CalGreen Commissioning CalGreen commissioning is required on all new commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet. Building Commissioning is the professional practice that ensures buildings are delivered according to the owner’s project requirements and in accordance with the design documents. Buildings that are properly commissioned typically have fewer change orders, tend to be more energy efficient,...
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22
Jan

Sacramento CalGreen Checklists

Sacramento CalGreen Checklists The City of Sacramento building department has updated their Sacramento CalGreen checklists for the 2019 Green Building Standards code. The new checklists include the 2019 code changes. Unfortunately, the checklists do not identify those items that have been added or changed.  For a complete list of all of the 2019 CalGreen Code...
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22
Jan

CalGreen for ADU’s

CalGreen for ADU’s CalGreen for ADU’s is required for building permit applications throughout the state. We are receiving many questions on this subject and will try to address them in this article. Accessory Dwelling Units have exploded throughout California. The State of California recently enacted new laws relating to the construction of these small homes....
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04
Jan

CalGreen and VOC’s – A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen

CalGreen and VOC’s – A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen CalGreen and VOC’s are a lawsuit waiting to happen. The codes are in place, the ability to accurately measure is available, and the potential health-related issues are well documented. The CalGreen Code, under the heading of Pollutant Control, defines the legal limits for volatile organic compounds. These...
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29
Dec

CalGreen for Commercial Buildings

CalGreen for Commercial Buildings CalGreen for commercial buildings requires the services of a CalGreen specialist. Unfortunately for building owners, this rarely happens. CalGreen for most commercial buildings is typically handled by either the architect or the mechanical engineer. These firms rarely have an in-house CalGreen specialist. Instead, the design architect or engineer ends up pasting...
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30
Nov

CalGreen Plumbing Fixture Requirements

CalGreen Plumbing Fixture Requirements CalGreen plumbing fixture requirements are intended to reduce water consumption for all residential and commercial buildings. These requirements exceed the requirements in the California Plumbing Code. The intent of CalGreen is to move the State of California to a more sustainable future. Efficient water use is critical for all California residents...
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24
Nov

Building Departments Struggle with CalGreen

Building Departments Struggle with CalGreen Building departments throughout the state are struggling with CalGreen. There are several reasons for this. One aspect is the lack of funding for support staff and training in the building departments. The Building Standards Commission (BSC) initially produced a permit level fee for this. In addition, the BSC continues to...
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08
Nov

How to Fill Out the CalGreen Checklist

How to Fill Out the CalGreen Checklist How to fill out the CalGreen checklist is far more complex than checking a box. It’s a shame that so many permits get submitted with every box checked. In almost every case, this is a costly mistake for the owner. The Green Building Standards Code allows just about...
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29
Oct

When CalGreen Goes Horribly Wrong

When CalGreen Goes Horribly Wrong When CalGreen goes horribly wrong – is during construction and the close-out of the project. It can come as a shock to the general contractor they were required to compile dozens of documents during the construction process.  Unfortunately, the CalGreen responsibilities of the general contractor are rarely communicated to them....
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05
Oct

Get Your Building Permit In Now!

Get Your Building Permit in NOW! On January 1, 2020 the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code (AKA CalGreen) goes into effect. The new code adds additional costs and complexities to the CalGreen permitting process. If your are able to get your project in before the end of the year it will save you thousands...
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05
Oct

CalGreen For Out of State Architects

CalGreen for Out of State Architects Navigating the California Building Codes can be challenging for out of state architects. However, large corporations with business sites throughout the US often prefer to use their select architects for all their projects, regardless of location. This requires the out of state architects to become familiar with the state...
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19
Aug

CalGreen Is Confusing

CalGreen Is Confusing Just about every day we hear complaints that CalGreen is confusing. That’s because it is. In part, it’s confusing because it seems to duplicate requirements that are already in the California Building Code Volume 1, as well as the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical codes. Also, the format of the CalGreen Code is...
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17
Aug

CalGreen 2020 – The Changes

CalGreen 2020 – The Changes On January 1, 2020 the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code (AKA CalGreen) goes into effect. This article presents all of the 2020 CalGreen changes. How Did We Get Here? Development of CalGreen began in 2007 by the California Building Standards Commission. This process resulted in the adoption of the...
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26
May

CalGreen Compliance and California Schools

DSA and CalGreen DSA has special guidelines for CalGreen compliance in California schools. The California Division of the State Architect (DSA) is the governing body for the construction of public schools in California. DSA provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools and community colleges to ensure that they comply with all sustainable, structural, accessibility,...
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15
May

Have Energy Saving Policies Gone Too Far?

Have Energy Saving Policies Gone Too Far? Asking if energy saving policies have gone too far is a valid question. We hear it just about every day – someone complaining about how ridiculous the building codes are getting. “The over-reaching building codes are making it too expensive to build in California!” There is no doubt...
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01
May

Third Party Plan Reviewers

Third Party Plan Reviewers Third party plan reviewers have become the bane of the Residential and Commercial building permit process. In recent years the use of third party plan reviewers has exploded up and down the State of California. The unfortunate reason for this is economics. Cities, towns and counties have learned it is cheaper...
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28
Apr

CalGreen and the Cannabis Industry

CalGreen and the Cannabis Industry As if the cannabis industry didn’t have enough legal hoops to jump through! Unfortunately, your cannabis grow facility, processing plant or distribution center will also need to comply with the current California CalGreen Code. In this case “calgreen” does not refer to Bubba Kush or Gorilla Glue. It’s part of...
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