Courtney Yan

Starting in July of 2015, projects in California subject to the mandatory 2013 CALGreen requirements will be able to use an alternative documentation path for LEED. Approved by the LEED Steering Committee, this streamlined path will be available for use on select credits for projects registered under the 2009 or v4 versions of LEED BD+C or LEED ID+C.

An alternative documentation path outlines a set of documents that projects may provide in lieu of standard LEED documentation in order to demonstrate LEED compliance. Unlike an Alternative Compliance Path (ACP), all rating system intents and requirements remain unchanged. Eligible projects will need to submit the following:

  1. A copy of the building permit or certificate of occupancy
  2. A signed letter and checklist, completed by the appropriate licensed professional or team member attesting that LEED and CALGreen requirements have been met
  3. Supporting documentation directly addressing any gaps in the functional equivalency between CALGreen and LEED, as necessary

The alternative documentation path will be available for the following credits and prerequisites:

  1. WE Prerequisite Indoor Water Use Reduction
  2. EA Prerequisite Fundamental Refrigerant Management
  3. MR Prerequisite Storage & Collection of Recyclables
  4. MR Credit Construction Waste Management
  5. IEQ Credit Low-Emitting Materials – Adhesives
  6. IEQ Credit Low-Emitting Materials – Paints

Detailed guidance, including credit and rating system specific considerations, will be available in July of 2015.

Want to learn more about this project as it develops, provide feedback, or get involved? Let us know.

California Green Building Standards Code

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 follow a proven set of high performance environmental strategies as standard practice. These statewide regulations provide a level of assurance that basic green building criteria are incorporated into every permitted project in the state.

Earlier this month USGBC and USGBC California released a report outlining recommendations from the LEED and CALGreen User Group. This group of experts focused on four questions:

  1. How effectively is CALGreen being implemented at the local level?
  2. What challenges and opportunities does CALGreen present for California’s building industry?
  3. What observations about the application of CALGreen and LEED in California can we share with green building practitioners in the state and beyond?
  4. What ways can LEED be enhanced to better complement projects in California that are subject to CALGreen requirements?

The last question required further research, and thus a LEED and CALGreen Task Group was formed (see Appendix B of the report). This group analyzed LEED and CALGreen requirements and prioritized a list of opportunities to lower the hard and soft costs associated with documenting and reviewing LEED projects subject to CALGreen requirements. The Task Group’s initial recommendations were put before the LEED Technical Committee and LEED Steering Committee for review earlier this year.

Future work to streamline LEED documentation and compliance for California projects is under consideration. Tell us more about what you need, provide feedback, or sign up to stay updated here!

USGBC and GBCI see an opportunity to learn from this California project as USGBC and its partners continue to build a national model green building code that, through careful integration with LEED, holds promise of accelerating the widespread uptake of green building practices. Learn more.