Jeremy Sigmon

See the latest in California policy and advocacy news.

There’s excitement in the air. It could be the arrival of spring. It could be that this article marks one full year of our California Policy Corner series that has been helping spread the news about our impactful advocacy work across the state.

Thankfully, there are more than articles to celebrate. There's been significant legislative activity and good news on climate action, too. The 17th annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) just concluded, including a keynote by Scot Horst of Arc Skoru, Inc. At the event, USGBC announced the culmination of a project that many of us have worked on, together with Wes Sullens, since well before the 2015 progress report and recommendations from the LEED and CALGreen User Group.

To celebrate our important work and to renew our enthusiasm for what’s to come, please join us on June 28 at ArchNexus in Sacramento for our annual Green Hard Hat Awards, including an education program and tour of the spectacular building.

In other news, we’ll be reconvening our California community at GreenerBuilder on August 1 in San Francisco, only a month before Gov. Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, where USGBC has proposed several engagement activities. With all this momentum, and with your help, we can surge forward in green building.

California streamin’ with the California–LEED ACPs

At USGBC Los Angeles’ Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo, USGBC launched even more LEED streamlining for projects built to California's energy and green building codes. The complete list of streamlining now available through the California–LEED Alternative Compliance Pathways (ACPs) includes:

  • Projects built to the 2016 California building code can streamline all 12 prerequisites and up to 6 points in LEED BD+C for LEED v4; 7 of 8 prerequisites and up to 5 points in LEED ID+C for LEED v4; and 7+ points and prerequisites in LEED v4 for homes.
  • Projects built to earlier versions of the code and/or LEED rating system can also find pathways for streamlining portions of their project submittals.

In an important step beyond streamlining efforts, projects pursuing points toward certification using the Optimize Energy Performance credit in LEED BD+C, LEED ID+C and LEED for homes now benefit from an update that reduces the need to run additional energy models if the project is building to, or exceeding, California’s energy code.

To explore the full details and sign up your project for the California–LEED ACPs, visit usgbc.org/green-codes.

Bills to drive sustainability advance in legislature

USGBC is proud to be working with Assemblymember Phil Ting on AB 2475, a bill that would help the state achieve its bold climate, resilience and sustainability goals by raising the bar for more sustainable public landscapes. The bill was favorably reported out of its first Assembly committee on April 25.

A complementary bill, AB 2371, would help to identify the water consumption expectations of plants used for landscaping statewide, and promote alignment with the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO).

Sen. Henry Stern’s SB 1380, which is with the Senate Appropriations Committee, is an effort to make it easy for California residents and businesses to access the many different clean energy programs and incentives offered across various state agencies and offices, including utility programs.

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian’s AB 2681 intends to more comprehensively identify the set of California buildings with the most potential vulnerability to seismic activity, because it is imperative that California buildings stand tall in the face of these unfortunately predictable events. If adopted, the bill would also establish processes to address these buildings’ safety risks, with the help of licensed professional engineers and, ultimately, fund both the building retrofits and the associated costs to local governments to enforce the law.

View a list of bills we’re watching