California Adopts Greenest Building Codes in the Country

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Calgreen, which goes into effect next January, will make California buildings (newly constructed hospitals, schools, shopping malls, homes) the greenest in the the U.S of A.

In an unanimous vote, the state commission voted across the board for California to have the most stringent, environmentally friendly building codes this country has ever seen. (In your face Montana! Go to hell Ohio!) The new building requirements will be a huge leap forward in California' battle to fight global warming and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, with the projected goal of lower it 30% by the year 2020.

How will this be done? Well, according to the SF Gate:

*Builders are required to install plumbing that cuts indoor water use, divert 50 percent of construction waste from landfills to recycling.

*Low-pollutant paints, carpets, and flooring are required to be used.

*In non-residential buildings, separate water meters will be installed for different uses.

*Local officials are required to inspect energy systems to ensure that heaters, air conditioners and other mechanical equipment in nonresidential buildings are working efficiently.

*Cities, such as San Francisco allowed to retain their stricter existing green building standards, or adopt more stringent versions of the state code if they choose.

Though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the standards approved on Tuesday, he was also the one who vetoed legislation in 2007 over the green building code for the state. Strange. (But then again that's not the only bad decision Schwarzenegger has ever made: he did choose to star in the movie "Kindergarten Cop.")

Regardless, this is a huge step forward for a greener tomorrow and hopefully other states will follow California's lead.

As put by Tom Sheehy, acting secretary of the state Consumer Services Agency and chair of the California Building Standards Commission:
"This is something no other state in the country has done -- integrating green construction practices into the very fabric of the construction code. These are simple, cost-effective green practices. ... California should be proud."
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