News Analysis

California Adopts Voluntary Green Building Standards

The new standards raise the bar for energy efficiency: to meet them, commercial buildings must use 15%–30% less energy, depending on building type, than a comparable building built to California’s already stringent code. These buildings must also meet 1% of their total energy use with onsite renewable generation. Residential buildings must meet energy code requirements and include air-sealing measures defined in the legislation.

New buildings designed to meet the voluntary standards must also demonstrate 20% savings in indoor potable water use compared with current code requirements. The residential standards limit the use of multiple showerheads in a single shower, making them among the earlier codes to regulate this loophole that circumvents federal limits on showerhead flow rates (see

Published August 28, 2008

Wendt, A. (2008, August 28). California Adopts Voluntary Green Building Standards. Retrieved from