This page last reviewed June 11, 2018

Green Building Standards Code

California’s Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code includes mandatory measures to support the goals of the State’s greenhouse gas reduction and building energy efficiency programs.  The CALGreen Code also promotes healthful indoor and outdoor air quality.  It is updated on a triennial basis, with minor revisions every 18 months.  In addition to mandatory building standards, the CALGreen Code includes voluntary “reach” standards known as the Tiers, which offer model building code language for local governments.  Cities and counties can adopt the Tiers or other more progressive building standards as an amendment to the CALGreen Code based on climatic, topographical, or geological conditions.

CARB’s Suggested Code Changes

State agencies with expertise in green building subject areas may suggest CALGreen Code changes to proposing state agencies as authorized by Health and Safety Code Section 18930.5(b).  Based on CARB staff expertise in air quality and climate change, CARB has provided suggested changes to the CALGreen Code to ensure it is updated to support CARB programs and regulations including, but not limited to, California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32, Nunez, Statutes of 2006, Chapter 488), Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), and The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375, Steinberg, Statutes of 2006, Chapter 728).

Proposing State Agencies

Several state agencies have the authority to propose building standards and are active in the development of the CALGreen code.  The California Department of Housing and Community Development has authority to develop standards for residential construction.  The Building Standards Commission (BSC) develops standards for nonresidential buildings.  The California Division of the State Architect has authority to develop standards affecting school construction and access compliance.  The California Energy Commission has authority to develop standards for energy efficiency.


The BSC is responsible for adopting, approving, publishing and implementing the Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations).  There are 12 parts to the Building Standards Code. The CALGreen Code is Part 11 of the building code.

For questions or comments, please contact: Dana Papke Waters at (916) 324-9615