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What California developers should know about green building


Just how particular are the standards for green building in California? Developers should know the answer.

For those looking to build in California, there are a lot of good reasons to want to set out a green building project. More people these days react positively to the image of a company that is conscious of its environmental impact. Beyond that, the advantages to sustainability make such a project appealing from the standpoint of logistics as well.

To be able to correctly adopt the moniker of green building, however, a project must adhere to the standards laid out in the California Building Code. The Code is regularly updated by the California building standards commission. It stipulates the way that green building standards are defined and reviewed. It can be helpful for developers to understand some of the particular aspects of a green building project and how they are qualified by the State.

How does recycled water get defined by the State?

A good way for potential project managers to know what they are getting in to when setting out on a green construction project is to look at what would be required for any one particular element of a complete architectural system, such as a recycled water system. The way the State reviews these systems provides insight into the standards that need to be evaluated when designing as project. One of the main things that the CBSC will evaluate is whether or not a project adheres to legal safety standards, including but not limited to those defined by federal and state law for water safety.

Beyond that, the amount of water that is saved through the use of a recycled water system is quantified by a research team. This team will also research and compare the costs of various water systems. In adherence with the California Plumbing Code, research will be done on possible indoor uses and applications for recycled water. A broader set of applications is explored for outdoor use. Savvy developers will bear in mind these standards that are continuously being researched by the CBSC when planning out their own projects.

How often is the Code Updated?

The newest version of the California Building Code is ratified on January 1st every three years. The newest version of the code will not be required to put into practice, however, until the following year. That means that the most recent edition, the 2019 edition, will be the official version to follow beginning January 1st, 2020. The next version will be finished in 2022.

Anyone looking to begin development on a green construction project in California may want to be sure their plans fit within the State Building Code. Consulting an attorney in the local area who practices construction law may be helpful in ensuring compliance.