Leading the nation in environmental initiative once again, the California Building Standards Commission has unanimously approved the country's first green building code for all new structures'from homes to businesses, schools to hospitals'built in California. 'We have already committed to making our state-owned buildings more green and energy efficient. This statewide code will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and conserve water in all new buildings,' Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
As part of its goal to curb emissions by 2020, the new standard is voluntary for now, but will become mandatory in 2010. This green code looks to decrease each new project’s carbon footprint, reducing energy use by 15 percent and landscape water use by 50 percent. It will also mandate that more recycled materials be used during construction. “Momentum for green buildings has been growing for years,” says Charles Eley, executive director of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, a nonprofit working to improve school facilities. “It is an ideal time for California to step forward with the nation’s first state green building standards.”