On Jan. 12, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the adoption of CALGreen, a mandatory Green Building Standards Code that will take effect Jan. 1, 2011. Under the code, the first of its kind in the country, new residential and non-residential buildings will be required to reduce water consumption, divert construction waste from landfills, and install low-pollutant materials. According to the code draft, some of the specific residential rules include:

¦ A water-use reduction of 20% “based on the maximum allowable water use per plumbing fixture and fitting as required by the California Building Standards Code.” For example, this equates to bath faucets operating at no more than 1.5 gpm at 60 psi, showerheads at no more than 2 gpm at 80 psi, and toilets offering 1.28 gpf or better; toilets also must be WaterSense-certified.

¦ Automatic lawn irrigation controllers must be weather- or soil moisture–based.

¦ Contractors must recycle and/or salvage a minimum of 50% of non-hazardous construction and demolition debris, with the exception of excavated soil and land-clearing debris; alternate waste-reduction methods can be developed with local agencies if diversion or recycling do not exist near the jobsite.

¦ Duct openings must be covered during construction.

¦ Carpet must carry one of the following labels: the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program; the California Department of Public Health Standard Practice for the testing of VOCs; NSF/ANSI 140 Gold level; or Scientific Certification Systems’ Indoor Advantage Gold.

The requirements do not address energy efficiency, which will continue to be regulated by the California Energy Commission.

Buildings and homes that pass a state inspection can be labeled CALGreen compliant without additional costs or third-party inspections. To view the entire code, visit www.bsc.ca.gov/CALGreen.