Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013 - (Page 8)

POLICY ROOF WITH… ON THE & STANDARDS follow tHe gReen building code HOW LIVING ARCHITECTURE fITS INTO CALIfORNIA’S NEW GREEN CODE By: JEREMy SIGMON AND WES SULLENS W elcome to sunny, cutting-edge and care-free California. The state is home to four Major League Baseball teams, some of the nation’s most stunning mountains and coastline, a rich culture of art and innovation and also one of the world’s most visited vegetated roofs at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. California exceptionalism is certainly in the water, in the air, and in its rich, even if often arid, soil. This uniqueness extends into the very fabric of law and society in California. Even the building code is exceptional. Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations has made a name for itself as a greatest-hits list of expectations and requirements for building design, construction and alteration. Title 24 is best known for its much-admired Part 6, the California Energy Code. Under the hood, Part 6 relies on an annual, maximum energy budget for any structure built in a given California climate zone—unsurprisingly, the state identifies sixteen climate zones where the U.S. Department of Energy only finds five. And look at the results: per capita energy consumption in California buildings has flat-lined for the last thirty years, while the rest of the nation has doubled. With these and other similar outcomes LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / SpRING 2013 / 8 in hand, California has proven to the world that beyond ‘health and safety’, building regulations can achieve impressive results at scale. So with the largest and most advanced green building marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, it comes as no surprise that California is the first to pioneer in the next direction—to develop, adopt and implement a green building code. The California Green Building Standards Code, better known as CALGreen, now occupies Part 11 of Title 24. Following in the footsteps of green building rating systems like LEED and a popular local program, GreenPoint Rated, CALGreen codifies a series of green building ideas for new commercial and residential construction. The code leverages the consistency of statewide building regulations and the existing code enforcement process to ensure that minimum and reasonably common green building measures are required in almost any permitted building across the state. Mandatory statewide implementation of the code began on January 1, 2011. The mandatory measures for nonresidential buildings, including additions and alterations, span fewer than twenty pages, and half that for residential. These are the most basic of the green building measures that the code drafters deemed fit for minimum requirements. These include a handful of measures across four sections: ‘Planning and Design’ (e.g. managing construction site run-off); ‘Water Efficiency and Conservation’ (e.g. plumbing fixture efficiencies and irrigation controls); ‘Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency’ (e.g. construction waste management and O&M manuals); and ‘Environmental Quality’ (e.g. pollutant control during construction and low-emitting materials). The ‘Energy Efficiency’ chapter adds no additional minimum requirements beyond the California Energy Code in Part 6. Importantly, commissioning of building systems is required for new construction of non-residential buildings in Section 5.410.2. Another advancement is the code’s applicability to additions and alterations greater than 2,000 sq. ft. or $500k in non-residential construction. And the 2013 version of the code, expected to take effect January 1, 2014, will engage even smaller projects. To be sure, this is great news for tomorrow’s buildings, their occupants, and California’s overall environmental health and safety. So what about green roofs and walls? While there are certain measures in the code that comfortably endorse living READ THIS ISSUE ONLINE AT WWW.LIVINGARCHITECTUREMONITOR.COM http://WWW.LIVINGARCHITECTUREMONITOR.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013
From The Founder
On the Roof With...
Policy and Standards
Current Research
Living Architecture Meets Hurricane Sandy
How Healthy Is Your Hospital?
New Corporate Members
Professional Calendar
GRHC Board Member Updates
GRHC Buyer’s Guide
The Lucky 7

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013