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Pasadena In Focus
January - February 2011

Green Building Rules Extended to Homeowners

Pasadena was one of the first cities in the nation to create a green building ordinance. Now the state has followed suit with the new California Green Building Standards Code, or CALGreen. The new code applies to any property owner who applies for a building permit after Jan. 1, 2011.

The state updates its building codes every three years and cities are required to adopt them. While in many other cities CALGreen may only apply to new building projects, in Pasadena the code also applies to additions and renovations of existing buildings. Pasadena has also made many of the state’s voluntary rules mandatory.

In general, Pasadena building projects must be 15 percent more energy efficient than minimum state standards, low-slope roofs must be “cool roof”-certified, new toilets must be 1.28 gallons per flush instead of 1.6 and new buildings must be solar-ready. New heating, cooling and lighting systems must operate at maximum efficiency.

A typical Pasadena homeowner won’t need to change plans drastically. Most materials already meet CALGreen requirements. Studies show that while green construction may cost one to three percent more, it pays off quickly in energy and water savings.

For more information on Pasadena building codes call 744-7601. For a range of rebates on water- and energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/rebates or call 744-6970.