Via Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
California has adopted the nation's first statewide green-building standards, which will become mandatory in 2010. The new California Green Buildings Standards Code requires builders to reduce energy use by 15 to 30 percent beyond current standards and use more recycled materials. Some of the code will be mandatory, while other parts are just suggested...Greenbiz.com - California Adopts Green Building Code for All New Construction
These new codes include basic passive solar mandates: "When site and location permit, orient the building with the long sides facing north and south. Provide exterior shade for south-facing windows during the peak cooling season. Provide vertical shading against direct solar gain and glare due to low altitude sun angles for east- and west-facing windows."
For renewable energy, the codes says, "Use on-site renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro, biomass and bio-gas for at least 1% of the electric power."
For water conservation, the code says, "A schedule of plumbing fixtures and fixture fittings will reduce the overall use of potable water within the building by 20%, and provide water efficient landscape irrigation design that reduces by 50% the use of potable water beyond the initial requirements for plant installation and establishment."
"Each building shall further reduce the generation of wastewater by one of the following methods: The installation of water-conserving fixtures (water closets, urinals) or utilizing non-potable water systems (captured rainwater, graywater, and municipally treated wastewater
The code sets targets for energy efficiency, water consumption, dual plumbing systems for potable and recyclable water, diversion of construction waste from landfills and use of environmentally sensitive materials in construction and design, including eco-friendly flooring, carpeting, paint, coatings, thermal insulation and acoustical wall and ceiling panels.