How Integrating 2010 CALGreen Mandatory Sustainability Affects Your Projects

Understanding and integrating the 2010 CALGreen sustainable code presents a new challenge for Clients and their projects. Innovative solutions can address these mandates and create new opportunities to improve and enhance educational environments.

  • How RGA integrates mandatory sustainability.
  • CALGreen’s Impact: What does this mean to me?
  • The Details: Specific measures of CALGreen.
  • What’s next? Integrated Teams deliver comprehensive solutions.

How RGA Integrates Mandatory Sustainability

Why sustainability matters: The code is one more force in moving buildings towards sustainable practices. These measures demand that buildings use fewer natural resources and create healthier environments; two goals that are undeniably important in today’s world.

How RGA applies sustainability: RGA has created a Sustainability Baseline that is applied to every project we undertake. This starts with code minimum requirements and adds additional measures which bring real value and more savings through specific enhancements. Our QA/QC Studio oversees implementation of these measures from project initiation through construction, ensuring coordinated application. The RGA Baseline is adjusted as required to match each Client’s goals. 

We provide training focused on sustainability for our staff and consultants through our professional development program. It addresses not only green code basics, but also other concepts that are inherent to the High Performance Incentive (HPI) Program for supplemental state funding.  

Maximizing Value through Intelligent Sustainability: To create maximum value for our Clients, we focus on intelligent sustainability; that is applying effective, efficient and proven measures to all projects. Our goals are always to maximize savings, increase funding and create healthier environments for the users.

CALGreen’s Impact: What Does This Mean To Me?

What is CALGreen? The CALGreen Code (California Green Building Standards Code, Part 11 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 24) contains both mandatory and voluntary sustainability measures. These affect Energy & Water Efficiency, Resource Conservation and Environmental Quality.

What is the Intent? To create healthier, sustainable and more efficient environments. These are goals worthy of pursuing and RGA has been integrating many of these features into projects for some time. Understanding how these requirements affect projects, along with the opportunities and funding they bring, is critical for successful implementation.

When does it apply? All new campus projects (submitted to DSA after January 1, 2011) must comply with the 2010 CALGreen Code. A new campus is defined as a new or existing cleared site planned for the new construction of a complete school or community college. Any subsequent additions to those campuses must comply with the CALGreen Code that is in effect at the time those additions are submitted; this would include alterations and modernizations.

What is the impact? While the fact that these measures are being codified may seem burdensome, and might appear to complicate the process and increase construction costs, most are already being implemented either through other code requirements or high efficiency design principles. RGA’s Clients will see few significant impacts as we have worked to integrate these measures into project design processes.

For some, these mandatory and voluntary measures may be foreign and indeed new concepts that will need to be embraced within District facility construction. But for those that have been working with RGA, you will find that the few concepts that are not already required by other codes are based on high efficiency principles that you are probably familiar with and more than likely already implementing.

The Details: Specific Measures of CALGreen

What are the measures? There are essentially 15 mandatory measures.


6 are already required by other codes or state legislation;

2 should be considered as part of every quality design (sustainable or not);

7 are frequently implemented in many high efficiency project designs to date.

Implementing these mandatory measures should have minimal impact on future facilities construction.

  1. Planning & Design: Light Pollution Reduction (already required by T24)
  2. Energy Efficiency: (already required by T24, Part 6)
  3. Pollutant Control: Limits for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpets, composite wood products and resilient flooring (these limitations are already mandated by SCAQMD and have been restricted since 1991)
  4. Indoor Moisture Control and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Indoor Moisture Control (already required per T24, Section 1203 and T24 Chapter 14)
  5. Indoor Moisture Control and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Indoor Air Quality (already required per T24 Part 6, Section 121 and Division 1, Chapter 4 of CCR Title 8)
  6. Outdoor Air Quality: Use of Halons and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are not allowed (already a restriction)
  1. Planning & Design: Grading and Paving
  2. Water Resistance & Moisture Management: Weather Protection, Moisture Control, Sprinklers, Entries and Canopies
  1. Indoor Water Use: Reduce Indoor Water Use By 20%
  2. Indoor Water Use: Reduce Waste Water By 20%
  3. Indoor Water Use: Plumbing Fixtures and Fittings
  4. Construction Waste Reduction, Disposal & Recycling: Requires a Construction Waste Management Plan & recycle or salvage 50% of non-hazardous construction and demolition debris.
  5. Building Maintenance & Operation: Readily accessible area for recycling by occupants
  6. Pollutant Control: Covering duct openings and protecting mechanical equipment during construction
  7. Pollutant Control: Air Filtration to use MERV 8 filters
What’s Next?

Future Requirements: This code has been long in the making and the drive towards mandatory sustainability measures has been pushed for many years.  What really needs to be monitored is not the current adopted measures, but the voluntary measures that will ultimately become mandatory in future code adoptions.

To prepare for the future, RGA is continually monitoring the evolving trends and making sure that design features are implemented that not only keep pace with the basic code requirements, but also provide the opportunity for Districts to implement voluntary measures to improve their project’s level of performance. 

Integrated Teams deliver comprehensive solutions: To comply with current and projected requirements, and to maximize future value, integrated design teams must work closely together from the earliest stages of planning.  RGA has assembled a unique team to provide vision, clarity and comprehensive solutions to meet your project needs; and will be sharing how this process delivers maximum value for you in the near future.

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