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Follow the Green Building Code- How Living Architecture fits into California's New Green Code

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Photo credit: Rana Creek
Photo credit: Rana Creek

This article was co-authored by Jeremy Sigmon and Wes Sullens. It was first printed in the spring 2013 issue of Living Architecture Monitor Magazine (Volume 15, Issue 1)

Welcome to sunny, cutting-edge and carefree 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. The 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 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 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.

Continue to Living Architecture Monitor Magazine's online issue to read the full article...

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    Jeremy Sigmon made 10 contributions in the last 6 months
  • USGBC

Jeremy Sigmon

Director, Technical Policy U.S. Green Building Council

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