CALBO Green Building Committee Web Site

Welcome to the CALBO Green Building Committee web site, your source for information on Green Building and sustainable development.

If you are a local agency looking to develop your own green building ordinance, or just checking out what other communities are doing - we have you covered. If you are an individual looking for what is going on today in sustainable construction, or just want to explore emerging developments in the world of green building - this is a site that you will want to book mark.

We understand that, for most people searching for information on sustainable building practices, it can be an overwhelming task. What with all of the information out there, just deciding where to look, who to trust and how to sift through the information can be a daunting task.

We would like to make your journey easier and help you to make informed decisions. So take your time visiting our web site and come back often - the site is evolving and is frequently updated.

If you have suggestions or comments on the web site, please email me green@calbo.org.

Thanks for visiting.

William Schock, Chair

The CALBO Green Building Committee, “your partner in sustainable building practices”.


California Energy Efficiency Standards: A Brief Historical Overview

The energy shortages of the 1970s motivated many states and local jurisdictions to add provisions to building codes to make homes more energy-efficient. The Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings were established in 1978 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce California's energy consumption. The first set of statewide energy efficiency standards appeared as Chapter 53 in the 1982 Edition of the California Building Code.

The standards are updated periodically to allow consideration and possible incorporation of new energy efficiency technologies and methods. The California Energy Commission has conducted eight major “updates” of these energy saving regulations. Due to the shear size and complexity of these regulations, today’s state energy efficiency standards are housed in a stand-alone portion, “Part 6” of Title 24, California Code of Regulations.

The stringency of California’s regulations has consistently stayed ahead of that required at the national level. For example, California’s 2005 Residential Energy Efficiency Standards are approximately 30% more stringent than similar standards at the national level. The 2008 Update presently being considered by the CEC could move that figure to 50%.

California uses two basic approaches for energy efficiency, a performance method and a prescriptive method. The performance based approach allows you to compare your proposed design to a baseline or reference design and demonstrate that the proposed design is at least as efficient as the baseline in terms of annual energy use. This approach allows greater flexibility but requires considerably more effort requiring the use of “performance-based” software that quantifies the percentage of energy savings .A performance approach is often necessary to obtain credit for special features, such as passive solar design, photovoltaic cells, thermal energy storage, and fuel cells. This approach requires an annual energy analysis for the proposed design and the reference design. The prescriptive approach uses a checklist which specifies the minimum R-value or maximum U-factor requirements for each building component such as windows, walls, and roofs. This approach is quick and easy to use and is widely used by homeowners. However, many builders and designers find it somewhat restrictive because the requirements typically are based on worst-case assumptions and all requirements must be met exactly as specified.

CALBO Green Building Committee

  • William Schock, City of San Leandro - Chair
  • Becky Fraser, CSG Consultants - Board Liaison
  • Jim Barrett, Willdan
  • Peter Bruck, City of Rohnert Park
  • George Estrella, City of Santa Barbara
  • Pete Guisasola, City of Rocklin
  • Brian Parker, Build it Green
  • Vic Peterson, City of Malibu
  • Brad Remp, City of Chula Vista
  • Buster Scholl, Charles Abbott Associates
  • Mike Stone, City of Salinas
  • Hadi Tabatabaee, City of Fullerton

Latest Updates on December 3, 2008
  • Changed Santa Rosa program's rating

Life Book

Policy Statement: Materials That May Be Posted on the CALBO Green Building Web Site

CALBO endorses and encourages the development and implementation of construction technologies that mitigate the negative environmental impacts of building. To help in the effort to promote such technologies, the CALBO Green Building Committee has developed and placed on the CALBO web site, a green building page. It is the intent of the Green Building Committee that this web page provide useful information to building officials and others that will promote the understanding and proper application of many different types of Green Building Technology. It is not the intention of the Green Building Committee, however, that the Green Building web page become a promotional vehicle for proprietary green building technologies. To prevent this sort of commercial exploitation of CALBO's credibility as an objective representative of building regulatory agencies throughout the State of California, it is the policy of the Green Building Committee that only generic materials describing green building products and methodologies will be posted on the CALBO Green Building Web Page. Any materials promoting any particular green building product or method must do so through the use of generic terminologies. No proprietary product may be referred to by any copyrighted or trademarked name or title. All research, descriptive, technical, instructional, or other materials published on the CALBO Green Building Web Page must be strictly limited to non-proprietary technology.

©2006 California Building Officials :: 1225 Eighth Street Suite 425, Sacramento, CA 95814