Synergies between LEED Homes and CALGreen | U.S. Green Building Council
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Check out our rundown of the overlapping credits between CALGreen and LEED v4.

The California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) is the nation’s first statewide mandatory green building code, covering nearly all residential and nonresidential construction in California. As part of a robust green building industry, all permitted construction in California follows a proven set of high-performance environmental strategies as standard practice. 

In June 2015, USGBC released alternative documentation paths available for projects that are subject to the 2013 CALGreen and are also pursuing LEED BD+C and ID+C certification.

As a critical first step in developing a similar output for residential construction, USGBC, GBCI and our partners have developed the crosswalk below to show where there is overlap between CALGreen 2016 and LEED v4 BD+C: Homes. (Please note: Reduction in overall energy use has been excluded from this comparison.)

The analysis below can be used for CALGreen project teams to assess the baseline credits they are likely to be eligible for in LEED without additional design/construction modification, as well as additional measures that they may be able to use toward achieving LEED certification. 

CALGreen 2016 measures to LEED v4 BD+C: Homes (full achievement)

The successful implementation of these CALGreen measures are likely to earn the project the corresponding LEED credit, pending verification by a LEED Green Rater*. These 11 CALGreen measures align with one LEED prerequisite and nine points in WE, EQ, SS and IN Credits. 

CALGreen 2016 Division Section LEED BD+C: Homes v4 Credit Points
Water Efficiency and Conservation—Indoor Water Use 4.303.1.4 (Mandatory) Water conserving plumbing fixtures and fittings WE  Indoor Water Use 1 point
Water Efficiency and Conservation—Outdoor Water Use 4.304.1 (Mandatory) Outdoor potable water use in landscape areas WE  Outdoor Water Use 2 points
Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency—Construction Waste Reduction, Disposal and Recycling 4.408.3 (Mandatory) Waste management company IN Pilot: Verified Construction & Demolition Recycling Rates 1 point
Environmental Quality—Fireplaces 4.503.1 (Mandatory) General EQ  Enhanced Combustion Venting 1 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.2.1 (Mandatory) Adhesives, sealants and caulks EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.2.2 (Mandatory) Paints and coatings EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.5 (Mandatory) Composite wood products EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.506.1 (Mandatory) Bathroom exhaust fans EQ  Enhanced Ventilation 1 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control A4.504.2 (Voluntary) Resilient flooring systems EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 point
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control A4.504.3 ((Voluntary) Thermal insulation EQ  Low-Emitting Products 1 point
Planning and Design—Site Development A4.106.3 (Voluntary) Landscape design SS  No Invasive Plants Prereq

 *all credits require on-site verification under LEED BD+C: Homes inspection and verification protocols.

CALGreen Measures to LEED BD+C: Homes v4 (Partial Achievement)

The successful implementation of the following CALGreen measures are likely to contribute to the achievement of one LEED prerequisite and four points in WE, SS, EA and IN credit categories. 

CALGreen 2016 Division Section LEED BD+C: Homes v4 Credit Points (partial achievement)
Planning and Design—Site Development 4.106.4 (Mandatory) (EV) charging for new construction IN Green Vehicles 1 point
Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency—Building Maintenance and Operation 4.410.1 (Mandatory) Operation and maintenance manual EA  Education of homeowner, tenant or building manager Prereq
Planning and Design—Site Development   A4.106.5.1 (Voluntary) Solar reflectance   SS  Heat Island Reduction   1-2 points  
Water Efficiency and Conservation—Indoor Water Use A4.303.3 (Voluntary) Appliances WE  Indoor Water Use 1 point

*all credits require on-site verification under LEED BD+C: Homes inspection and verification protocols.

Analysis

Full Credit Measures

Water Efficiency and Conservation—Indoor Water Use 4.303.1.4.1 (Mandatory) Water conserving plumbing fixtures and fittings WE  Indoor Water Use 1 point

Summary

The CALGreen threshold for rated flow volume across all lavatory faucets (1.2 gpm) is more stringent than the LEED threshold (1.5 gpm). Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one point in WE Indoor Water Use. 

Water Efficiency and Conservation—Outdoor Water Use 4.304.1 (Mandatory) Outdoor potable water use in landscape areas WE  Outdoor Water Use 2 points

Summary

The CALGreen threshold (climate-adapted plants for 75 percent of the plant area; turf shall not exceed 25 percent of the landscape area in residential) is more stringent than the LEED threshold (less than 40 percent turf grass and more than 50 percent native/adapted plants). Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve two points in WE Outdoor Water Use. 

Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency—Construction Waste Reduction, Disposal and Recycling 4.408.3 (Mandatory) Waste management company IN Pilot: Verified Construction & Demolition Recycling Rates 1 point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require using a third-party waste management facility that can provide documentation to verify construction and demolition waste diversion. Meeting this CALGreen measure would result in achieving one point in IN Pilot: Verified Construction and Demolition Recycling Rates.

Environmental Quality—Fireplaces 4.503.1(Mandatory) General EQ Enhanced Combustion Venting 1 point

Summary

  • Wood- or pellet-burning stoves: Both CALGreen and LEED require EPA-qualified equipment for credit.
  • Natural gas, propane and alcohol stoves: Both CALGreen and LEED require direct or power venting for credit. In addition, LEED requires a permanent fixed glass front or gasketed door and an electronic pilot.
  • Meeting either of these CALGreen measures would achieve one point in EQ Enhanced Combustion Venting, Option 2: enhanced combustion venting measures. 
Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.2.1(Mandatory) Adhesives, sealants and caulks EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 Point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require that adhesives, sealants and caulks meet CA Section 01350 for credit. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one point in EQ Low-Emitting Products. 

Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.2.2 (Mandatory) Paints and coatings EQ  Low-Emitting Products 0.5 Point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require that interior paints and coatings meet CA Section 01350 for credit. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one-half point in EQ Low-Emitting Products. 

Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control 4.504.5 (Mandatory) Composite wood products EQ Low-Emitting Products 1 point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require composite wood products to meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins or no-added formaldehyde based resins for credit. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one point in EQ Low-Emitting Products. 

Environmental Quality—Indoor Air Quality & Exhaust 4.506.1 (Mandatory) Bathroom exhaust fans EQ  Enhanced Ventilation 1 point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED give credit for local exhaust fans that have an automatic humidistat controller. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one point in EQ Enhanced Ventilation, Option 1: Enhanced Local Exhaust. 

Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control A4.504.2 (Voluntary) Resilient flooring systems EQ Low-emitting products 0.5 point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require that flooring meets CA Section 01350 for credit. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one-half point in EQ Low-Emitting Products. 

Environmental Quality—Pollutant Control A4.504.3 (Voluntary) Thermal insulation EQ Low-emitting products 0.5 point

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require that insulation meet CA Section 01350 for credit. Meeting this CALGreen measure would achieve one-half point in EQ Low-Emitting Products. 

Planning and Design—Site Development A4.106.3 (Voluntary) Landscape Design SS  No Invasive Plants Prereq

Summary

CALGreen and LEED both require non-invasive plant species. Meeting this CALGreen measure, achieves SS No Invasive Plants Prerequisite.

Partial Credit Measures 

Planning and Design—Site Development 4.106.4 (Mandatory) (EV) charging for new construction IN Green Vehicles 1 point

Summary

Both CALGreen and LEED require the same minimum specs for access to electric vehicle charging. LEED also includes requirement for preferred parking spaces and a minimum ACEEE score for the vehicle. Meeting these additional measures would result in achieving one point in IN Green Vehicles. 

Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency—Building Maintenance and Operation 4.410.1 (Mandatory) Operation and maintenance manual EA  Education of homeowner, tenant, or building manager Prereq (partial achievement)

Summary

CALGreen and LEED credits are close to equivalent, because both give prescriptive requirements for the manual. However, LEED requires a one-hour walk-through for tenants to be performed, and there are some additional documents to be included (listed below) to achieve this prerequisite. 

  • The completed checklist of LEED for Homes features;
  • Copies of all ENERGY STAR for Home, version 3, checklists;
  • General information on efficient use of energy, water, and natural resources;
  • Guidance on occupants’ activities and choices, including cleaning materials and methods, water-efficient landscaping, integrated pest management, effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation, lighting selection, and appliance selection;
  • Information on local green power options; and
  • Information on sharing utility data with USGBC via a USGBC-approved third party. 
Planning and Design—Site Development A4.106.5.1 (Voluntary) Solar reflectance SS Heat Island Reduction 1-2 points (partial achievement)

Summary 

CALGreen meets Energy Star-qualified roof material requirements which is a pathway for non-absorptive materials in LEED. However, points are awarded in LEED based on percentage of total hardscape that is non-absorptive, using the following metrics: (50–75 percent, 1 point) (more than 75 percent, 2 points). If Energy Star-qualified roofing material is greater than 50 percent of the total hardscape, then project team could claim one point in SS Heat Island Reduction. 

Water Efficiency and Conservation—Indoor Water Use A4.303.3 (Voluntary) Appliances WE  Indoor Water Use   1 point (partial achievement)

Summary

Both CALGreen and LEED require Energy Star-certified clothes washers for credit, although CALGreen requires either a dishwasher or clothes washer. Also, CALGreen only requires one EnergyStar-certified clothes washer and LEED requires all to be Energy Star. If all clothes washers are installed are Energy Star-certified for CALGreen, then the project would receive one point in WE Indoor Water Use.

Learn more about LEED for Homes

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