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CalGreen Regulations to Usher in Greener Standards for 2011

The new California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen), which will apply to all homes permitted after January 11, 2011, requires all home builders to provide owners with documentation aimed to encourage greener lifestyles.  This change in compliance standards for operation and maintenance documents (O&Ms) was passed into law earlier in 2010.

Mandatory building standards under CalGreen will require homebuilders to provide homeowners with a green maintenance manual, which will include educational information concerning recycling, water conservation, and energy efficiency.  The O&Ms will also include any applicable manuals for green technology within the home, including HVAC systems, landscaping irrigation systems, roof and yard drainage systems, space conditioning systems, water heating systems, and water reuse systems.

These documents must remain with the home throughout the structure’s lifecycle, and electronic versions of the information provided will also be available to homeowners online in personalized web accounts.  Lost or damaged documents are thus recoverable by the homeowner or any subsequent purchaser.  Since these new regulations place a greater burden on builders, many plan to outsource the CalGreen obligations to experts.

While a 2002 law known as SB800 already required builders to provide certain maintenance and warranty documentation, CalGreen creates much higher standards of collecting and providing documentation.  For more information on the new standards effective in January 2011, view page 20 of the CalGreen Building Standards Code.

Failure to comply with CalGreen standards can result in liability for homebuilders throughout California.  If you need a civil engineer to assess liability for land development and appear as an expert witness in your case, contact Engineering Expert Witnesses today for a free initial consultation.

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