2013 California Green Building Code - CALGreen

The 2013 California Green Building Standards Code, or CALGreen, established by the California Building Standards Commission, went into effect January 1, 2014. California first adopted CALGreen in 2010, becoming the first statewide mandatory green building code in the country. The Code establishes minimum green building standards through uniform regulations of most new residential and non-residential California buildings. The regulations are intended to reduce construction waste, make buildings more efficient in the use of materials and energy, and reduce environmental impacts during and after construction.

The provisions of this code apply to the planning, design, operation, construction, use and occupancy of every newly constructed building or structure throughout the State of California (with some exceptions noted). Residential buildings subject to CALGreen include multi-family residences, and one- and two-family dwellings that have three or fewer stories. Non-residential buildings subject to the Code include buildings used for retail, office, hotels, motels, and medical services. The mandatory measures are applicable statewide and local jurisdictions may adopt the Tier 1 and Tier 2 voluntary measures if they desire more stringent requirements.

The Code states that “the purpose of this code is to improve public health, safety, and general welfare by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts having a reduced negative impact or positive environmental impact and encouraging sustainable construction practices.”

The green building standards are applied in the categories of:

1. Planning and design
2. Energy efficiency
3. Water efficiency and conservation
4. Material conservation and resource efficiency
5. Environmental quality

Regarding the residential mandatory provisions, the Code requires storm water drainage and retention systems to prevent flooding of adjacent properties and prevent pollution from storm water runoff by retaining soil on-site or by providing filtering to restrict sedimentation from reaching storm water drainage systems and receiving streams or rivers. To comply, the retention basin has to be sized and shown on the site plan, and water has to be filtered and routed to a public drainage system. The new residential structure has to also comply with local storm water ordinances.


CALGreen is Part 11 of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. 

Publication Date: January 1, 2014

Related Organizations:

  • State of California
  • California Building Standards Commission


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Laws

States Affected:


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