USGBC yields to Golden State’s CALGreen standards in LEED documentation path

The U.S. Green Building Council will allow principals behind nonresidential projects subject to mandatory 2013 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) requirements an alternative documentation path toward LEED certification. CALGreen is the nation’s first statewide mandatory green building code, covering nearly all Golden State residential and nonresidential construction.


The new path will make beyond-code green building leadership even more accessible as the state continues to set more aggressive targets for energy and water efficiency, USGBC contends. “From public policy to volunteer engagement to business actions, California is a standard bearer for excellence in green building market transformation,” said CEO Rick Fedrizzi, as USGBC announced the accommodation during an early summer gathering in San Diego. “We are proud to offer more streamlined ways for projects to demonstrate green building leadership in California.”

The alternative documentation path outlines a set of documents that projects may provide in lieu of standard documentation in order to demonstrate LEED compliance. It encompasses measures related to construction waste management; indoor water use reduction; refrigerant management; recyclables storage and collection of recyclables; and, low-emitting paints and adhesives use.

“The development and release of this set of alternative documentation pathways is a significant step in the co-evolution of LEED and green building codes,” explains USGBC Director of Technical Policy Jeremy Sigmon. “Leveraging California’s code infrastructure and the obligations of licensed professionals to adhere to the laws of the land, these new streamlined documentation options offer cost savings to project teams while maintaining the quality and rigor of LEED. In turn, projects already designing and building to the CALGreen code will find LEED and its many benefits more readily within reach.”