Buildings shall be designed to include the green building measures specified as mandatory in the application checklists contained in this code. Voluntary green building measures are also included in the application checklists and may be included in the design and construction of structures covered by this code, but are not required unless adopted by a city, county, or city and county as specified in Section 101.7.

[HCD] The mandatory provisions of Chapter 4 shall be applied to additions or alterations of existing residential buildings where the addition or alteration increases the building’s conditioned area, volume, or size. The requirements shall apply only to and/or within the specific area of the addition or alteration.

Note: On and after January 1, 2014, residential buildings undergoing permitted alterations, additions or improvements shall replace noncompliant plumbing fixtures with water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Plumbing fixture replacement is required prior to issu-ance of a certificate of final completion, certificate of occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department. See Civil Code Section 1101.1, et seq., for the definition of a noncompliant plumbing fixture, types of residential buildings affected and other important enactment dates.

[HCD] The provisions of individual sections of CALGreen may apply to either low-rise residential buildings, high-rise residential buildings, or both. Individual sections will be designated by banners to indicate where the section applies specifically to low-rise only (LR) or high-rise only (HR). When the section applies to both low-rise and high-rise buildings, no banner will be used.

[BSC-CG] The provisions of individual sections of Chapter 5 apply to newly constructed buildings, building additions of 1,000 square feet or greater, and/or building alterations with a permit valuation of $200,000 or above (for occupancies within the authority of California Building Standards Commission). Code sections relevant to additions and alterations shall only apply to the portions of the building being added or altered within the scope of the permitted work.

A code section will be designated by a banner to indicate where the code section only applies to newly constructed buildings [N] or to additions and/or alterations [A]. When the code section applies to both, no banner will be used.

Note: On and after January 1, 2014, certain commercial real property, as defined in Civil Code Section 1101.3, shall have its noncompliant plumbing fixtures replaced with appropriate water-conserving plumbing fixtures under specific circumstances. See Civil Code Section 1101.1 et seq. for definitions, types of commercial real property affected, effective dates, circumstances necessitating replacement of noncompliant plumbing fixtures, and duties and responsibilities for ensuring compliance.

The requirements of Section 5.408 shall be required for additions and alterations whenever a permit is required for work.

[DSA-SS] Newly constructed buildings on new or existing sites shall comply with Chapter 5. Additions to existing buildings, newly constructed landscape work, and rehabilitated landscape work shall comply with Chapter 5, Section 5.304.6, Outdoor Water Use.

[DSA-SS] A minimum rehabilitated landscape area equal to 75 percent of the footprint area of a new building or of an addition to an existing building shall be provided and comply with Section 5.304.6.


  1. The new building or addition to an existing building is less than 1,600 square feet in floor area.
  2. The entire existing site’s irrigated landscape areas are in full compliance with Section 5.304.6.
  3. The new building or addition to an existing building is to be partially or entirely constructed on an existing irrigated landscape or turf lawn area which is not in compliance with the current MWELO requirements and is equal to or greater than the minimum rehabilitated landscape area requirement of Section 301.4.1.
[OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] Health facilities under the jurisdiction of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) are required to comply with the mandatory measures prescribed in Section 5.304, Outdoor Water Use. Compliance with Section 5.304, as adopted by the Building Standards Commission, is enforced by the local agency having jurisdiction. Evidence of local approval shall be submitted to OSHPD prior to issuance of plan approval or a building permit.
In mixed occupancy buildings, each portion of a building shall comply with the specific green building measures applicable to each specific occupancy.
For shell buildings and others constructed for future tenant improvements, only those code measures relevant to the building components and systems considered to be new construction (or newly constructed) shall apply.

The provisions of this code shall apply only to the initial tenant improvements to a project. Subsequent tenant improvements shall comply with the scoping provisions in Section 301.3 non-residential additions and alterations.

Voluntary tiers are intended to further encourage building practices that improve public health, safety and general welfare by promoting the use of building concepts which minimize the building’s impact on the environment and promote a more sustainable design.

The provisions of Divisions A4.6 and A5.6 outline means, in the form of voluntary tiers, for achieving enhanced construction levels by incorporating additional measures for residential and nonresidential new construction. Voluntary tiers may be adopted by local governments and, when adopted, enforced by local enforcing agencies. Buildings complying with tiers specified for each occupancy contain additional prerequisite and elective green building measures necessary to meet the threshold of each tier. See Section 101.7 of this code for procedures and requirements related to local amendments, additions or deletions, including changes to energy standards.

[BSC & HCD] Where there are practical difficulties involved in complying with the threshold levels of a tier, the enforcing agency may grant modifications for individual cases. The enforcing agency shall first find that a special individual reason makes the strict letter of the tier impractical and that modification is in conformance with the intent and purpose of the measure. The details of any action granting modification shall be recorded and entered in the files of the enforcing agency.

CALGreen Tier 1 and CALGreen Tier 2 buildings contain voluntary green building measures necessary to meet the threshold of each level.
To achieve CALGreen Tier 1, buildings must comply with the latest edition of “Savings By Design, Healthcare Modeling Procedures” found online at downloads_sbd_healthcare.html.
To achieve CALGreen Tier 2, buildings must exceed the latest edition of “Savings By Design, Healthcare Modeling Procedures” by a minimum of 15 percent.
For public schools and community colleges, Appendix A5, Nonresidential Voluntary Measures, is provided as a guideline to further encourage building practices that improve public health, safety and general welfare by promoting the use of building concepts which minimize the building’s impact on the environment, promote a more sustainable design and high-performance educational facilities.
The optional provisions of Appendix A5, Divisions A5.1 through A5.5, outline means of achieving enhanced construction levels by incorporating additional measures that exceed the mandatory code.
The measures outlined in Chapter 5, Section 5.410.2 for Commissioning and Section 5.410.4 for Testing and Adjusting are not adopted as mandatory standards by the DSA; however, are referenced here as optional verification practices that are encouraged and recommended to ensure performance, comfort, system durability, reliability, indoor air quality, and efficiency.