California adopts first state green building codes

The California Building Standards Commission, the state agency that sets the rules for all residential and commercial construction projects, has adopted the nation’s first state-sponsored set of green building codes. The new green codes, which involved input from various stakeholders in the building industry and environmental community, will be phased in over the next three years, until they become mandatory in 2010.

The new statewide standards, which will continue to be updated on a three-year cycle, target water and energy use as well as air quality and moisture control. The codes encourage the use of energy-efficient appliances, drought tolerant landscaping, low-VOC paint, recycled materials in carpets and recycled building materials.

Anumber of organizations helped draft the new codes, including the California Building Industry Association and the Lumber Association of California and Nevada (LACN).