The next mid-code cycle update for the California Building Standards Code, or CalGreen, is scheduled for January 2024 with an effective date of July 2024. As we wait for the changes to be released, we can review what issues arose during the 15-Day Public Comment period. The 15-Day period is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to provide recommendations for the upcoming code cycle. Organizations like the American Institute of Architects and the California Association of Building Officials, who have a pulse on the codes and their projected impacts will typically submit recommendations and questions. The review period is open to the general public. The public comment period closed in June and the comments submitted are available on the CA.gov website. In this blog, we will cover some of the areas in question.
Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment
The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the best ways for architects and building professionals to understand the environmental impact and energy use associated with all phases of a building’s life cycle including procurement, construction, operation, and deallocation.
Comments/Suggestions offered regarding LCA:
- Consideration for when building products and systems are selected for building use with the intention of lowering impacts, the energy consumed, and emissions produced during the actual building occupation.
- Encourage consideration for use phase impacts when making LCA product and building decisions.
- Cradle-to-Grave vs. Cradle-to-Gate: designers and building owners do not know who will be renting space and for what purpose. This is also a different definition than in state law.
- How can we be more intentional and accurate when certifying that building material information is accurate? How do we know foreign entities are accurate in reporting carbon impact and how does a building official know if the information provided is accurate?
How will field verification work?
Field verification is an integral part of the building code process. Several questions/concerns were raised about the process.
- Is there a consideration to include a field verification attestation to verify that the Responsible Designer visited the construction site and verified the material?
- Will this responsibility fall on the building inspector?
- Structural safety implications of new technology in the built environment
- Questions regarding a more measured approach for embodied carbon
The ID360 Team is following these changes closely. These are just a few of the many comments submitted during the public comment period. To read these documents in detail click here. Follow ID360 for the latest in code changes or check out our Intro to the 2002 California Green Building Code course on ID360 Academy.