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Green Building Codes and Standards


California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) Title 24, Part 11 was the first state-wide green building code. This code establishes minimum green building standards for most new residential and non-residential construction projects in California. The 2019 version of the code can be viewed online at on the International Code Council website.

Stopwaste, a public agency promoting reducing waste in Alameda County, CA has published a comparison of CALGreen and USGBC LEED v4 BD&C. CALGreen code mandatory & voluntary tier measures are matched against LEED v4 prerequisites & credits with parallel intent. The purpose of the comparison is to identify the opportunities for achieving LEED credits when meeting the requirements of all CALGreen code mandatory and optional measures. The analysis shows that compliance with CALGreen measures can relatively easily result in compliance with LEED v4/v4.1 EQ Credit: Low-Emitting Materials.

To learn more about product testing to meet the indoor environmental quality requirements of the mandatory and optional sections of CALGreen, contact us.

National & International Green Building Standards

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 was created through a collaborative effort involving ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society. The standard is written in code-intended language so that it may be referenced or adopted by government agencies to provide the minimum acceptable level of design criteria for high-performance green buildings. The 189.1 standard is under continuous maintenance. The VOC emissions and VOC content requirements in Section 8.4.2, Materials are similar to those in USGBC LEED v4/v4.1.

The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is published by the International Code Council and serves as an overlay to a set of existing international codes, including provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code and ICC-700, the National Green Building Standard. It incorporates ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an alternate path to compliance. Section 806 specifies VOC emissions and VOC content requirements for interior construction products and materials.

The following table identifies the mandatory and voluntary product VOC emissions requirements in CALGreen and outlines the VOC emissions sections of ASHRAE Standard 189.1 and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).



CALGreen – Requirements for New Construction in California

Residential - Mandatory

4.504.3: Carpet systems

4.504.4: Resilient flooring

Residential - Voluntary

A4.504.2: Resilient flooring
A4.504.3: Thermal insulation

Non-Residential - Mandatory

5.504.4.4: Carpet systems
5.504.4.6: Resilient flooring systems

Non-Residential - Voluntary

A5.504.4.7: Resilient flooring systems, Tier 1
A5.504.4.7.1: Resilient flooring systems, Tier 2
A5.504.4.8: Thermal insulation, Tier 1
A5.504.4.8.1: Thermal insulation, Tier 2
A5.504.4.9: Acoustical ceilings and wall panels
ANIS/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 – Requirements for New Construction
All, except low-rise residential Adhesives & Sealants Paints & Coatings Floor Covering Materials Composite Wood, Wood Structural Panel & Agrifiber Products Office Furniture Systems & Seating Ceiling & Wall Systems

International Green Construction Code (IgCC)

All construction; coordinates with ICC family of codes

806.1: Glued Wood Products

806.2: Adhesives & Sealants

806.3: Architectural Paints & Coatings

806.4: Flooring

806.5: Acoustical Ceiling Tiles & Wall Systems

806.6: Insulation

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