The emphasis on civic responsibility has seen many industries adopt the “Go Green” mantra enthusiastically. The California Green Building Standards Code, commonly referred to as “CalGreen” was brought into effect on August 1, 2009 to outline architectural design and engineering principles that are in synergy with environmental resources and public welfare. CalGreen is driven by the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, promote healthier environments to live in and prevent wastage of energy and water resources.
But first, let’s rewind back a bit and talk about where exactly CalGreen fits into the broader set of California regulations.
1) Planning and Design
2) Energy Efficiency 3) Water efficiency and conservation 4) Material Conservation and resource efficiency 5) Environmental Quality.
CalGreen Covers both residential and non-residential buildings. There are separate code sections for low-rise and high-rise buildings.
Some common types of residential buildings covered are:
Some common types of non-residential buildings covered are structures used for manufacturing, industrial factories (such as food-processing), and institutional facilities such as schools and assisted living facilities
CalGreen also includes provisions for any additions or alterations made after construction. A common alteration is replacing any current non-compliant plumbing fixtures with water-conserving ones.
Mandatory measures: CalGreen sets minimum standards for buildings, and since 2016, this applies to all new constructions, alterations/additions to increase a residential building's area/volume/size and nonresidential building additions of 1,000 square feet or greater and/or building alterations with a permit valuation of $200,000 or above (except tenant-space remodeling which does not alter the building shell or systems)
Some residential and non-residential mandatory measures are:
|Planning and Design||Environmental Quality||Material Conservation|
|Residential||Construction plans shall indicate how the site grading or drainage system will manage all surface water flows to keep water from entering buildings.||Wall and floor framing shall not be enclosed when the framing members exceed 19% moisture content.||Annular spaces around pipes, electric cables, conduits or other openings in sole/bottom plates at exterior walls shall be closed with cement mortar, concrete masonry or a similar method acceptable to the enforcing agency to prevent passage of rodents.|
|Non-Residential||For student bicycle parking, provide permanently anchored bicycle racks conveniently accessed with a minimum of two staff bicycle parking spaces per new building.||For fireplaces, install only a direct-vent sealed-combustion gas or sealed wood-burning fireplace or a sealed wood stove.||100 percent of trees, stumps, rocks and associated vegetation and soils resulting primarily from land clearing shall be reused or recycled.|
You can find the entire list of residential mandatory measures, brought into effect on January 1, 2017 here.
CalGreen is implemented by local architects and other design professionals by creating a CalGreen checklist of the measures. Here’s an actual checklist implemented by the city of Riverbank: Non-Residential Mandatory Checklist
Voluntary measures - A two-tiered approach Local governments may opt for more restrictive regulations to achieve higher degree of compliance with Green Building principles. The need for these additional regulations may arise due to certain regional climatic, geological or topographical, or environmental conditions. This approach is adopted to achieve a further reduction in energy usage – surpassing the targets set through mandatory measures by 15-30%. Buildings complying with the latest edition of “Savings By Design, Healthcare Modeling Procedures” would achieve CalGreen Tier 1. According to the International Code Council, buildings must exceed the latest edition by 15% or more to achieve CalGreen Tier 2.
Local jurisdictions can also implement other codes such as GreenPoint ratings or LEED requirements. However, unlike other codes, CalGreen is a mandatory state-wide applicable-code which can have voluntary two-tiered measures enforced by your local authorities. CalGreen mandatory measures are not as rigid as the other codes.
CalGreen compliance is enforced through construction documents, plans, specifications, builder or installer certification, and inspection reports. The International Code Council (ICC) offers a CALGreen Certification Exam for inspectors and plan reviewers. The exam covers all general requirements of CalGreen and tests for an understanding of the code and ability to implement its provisions.
 http://www.calmac.org/%5C/publications/ 2016_Savings_by_Design_Healthcare_Baseline_Study_Final.pdf  http://www.bsc.ca.gov/Home/CALGreen.aspx
Design Everest is OPEN! We work remotely and are fully committed to taking on and delivering projects.
Design Everest’s remote working model can safely take-up and deliver your projects within the current government guidelines on COVID-19 (a.k.a Coronavirus). This applies to many of our project scopes, including architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, and construction administration across California.
Design Everest is set up to remotely leverage digital platforms (virtual meetings, calls, emails etc.) in client-facing and internal operations. Over the years, we have advanced this ability to the extent that we can continue supporting new and existing clients across many of our projects. Even projects that need an on-site visit can be fulfilled safely via video calls or in-person visits, where permitted.
Note that the present government guidelines permit the delivery of essential services, including those related to construction.
YES, Design Everest's remote working model enables us to work safely with all clients, suppliers, industry partners, and internal staff as per government guidelines.
Design Everest can still support many of our types of projects (new or ongoing) safely. For example, new custom homes, accessory dwelling units, civil plans etc. We are committed to delivering these remotely and safely as per the current government guidelines. In case of any external dependency that is unavoidable/unavailable, your assigned Custom Success Manager or Project Manager will keep you posted on it and try their best to keep your plans in-progress.
YES, our remote working model enables us to be fully committed to ongoing projects. In case of any external dependency that is unavoidable, unavailable or unsafe, your assigned Custom Success Manager or Project Manager will keep you updated and try their best to keep your plans in-progress. If an on-site visit is not feasible via a video call, we will try our best to fulfill the visit safely, where permitted.
Some of our clients are already going ahead with their projects with us via video calls or virtual meetings. Your assigned Customer Success Manager or Project Manager is happy to help you with this, where needed.
There are multiple reasons for this. It's typical to plan the construction step in the summer. So, clients get started on the pre-construction steps (architecture, engineering, and construction admin) in winter or spring to stick to planned timelines.
Projects such as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Additions/Remodels enable clients to rent/resale and generate revenue. Meanwhile, many clients are concerned about protecting their families and businesses against earthquakes by retrofitting their homes and buildings. These are just a few of the various reasons why it’s still reasonable for clients to stick to their construction plans.
Feel free to phone us at (888) 311-3015 Alternatively, you may contact your assigned Custom Success Manager or Project Manager directly via phone, email or virtual meetings.
To summarize, Design Everest is OPEN and able to serve new and existing clients, affiliates, suppliers, and industry partners.
Stay safe and rest assured that Design Everest can help you go ahead with your plans as per the recommended safety guidelines!