Sustainable (Green) Building Programs at CalRecycle
Implementing the Governor’s Green Building Executive Order
In December 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger established green building as a priority for his administration with Executive Order S-20-04. Schwarzenegger’s Green Building Executive Order (GBEO) requires state-owned facilities to be designed, constructed, operated, and renovated as “LEED Silver” or higher certified buildings. LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The GBEO created a cabinet-level Green Action Team (GAT), led by State and Consumer Services Agency (SCSA), to champion and monitor progress. Since the Department of General Services (DGS) is the lead agency responsible for siting, designing, constructing, leasing, operating and maintaining state buildings, DGS implements the GBEO into state-owned facilities. CalRecycle (formerly known as CIWMB) provides technical assistance in the area of materials and resources.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System
California has the most registered LEED projects in the country. CalRecycle staff provides material efficiency technical assistance to the Green Action Team to assist with increasing C&D waste diversion and increasing the amount of salvaged, reused, recycled content, and environmentally preferable products (EPP) specified and installed in State green building projects. Staff is also working with the U.S. Green Building Council on the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group (MR TAG) to help to develop the next generation of materials efficiency related credits in all of the LEED Rating System products.
High Performance Schools
Since 2000, staff from the CalRecycle’s sustainable building program have participated in a group of government agencies, utilities, and nonprofit organizations recognized as the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). In January 2001, CHPS completed a High Performance Schools Best Practices Manual to assist California school administrators, architects, and engineers in planning, designing, and building schools that are energy efficient, resource efficient, healthy, comfortable, well lit, and contain the amenities needed for a quality education. The collaborative recently finalized a set of design criteria for schools to self-certify that they have achieved “high performance schools” status. To download a copy of the manual or for more information on the collaborative, visit the the CHPS web site.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Diversion Efforts
As approved in late 2002, Senate Bill 1374 required CIWMB to develop voluntary model ordinances for local governments and reports for diverting construction and demolition (C&D) materials. These reports provide recommendations to local governments and contractors on how to create markets and adopt methods for recovering C&D materials. Both the model ordinances and reports are available on CalRecycle’s website.
Educate Landscaping Professionals
Staff is pursuing an outreach program and building partnerships with landscape architects and maintenance professionals, whether they maintain residential, commercial, or public properties, to promote resource-efficient landscape design and maintenance practices respectively. Landscape professionals are paying more attention to landscape design and management practices that reduce waste generation, reuse trimmings on site, and recycle organic products (mulch and compost) back into urban landscapes.
Information on suppliers of urban compost and mulch and grasscycling techniques is currently available on the CalRecycle’s organic materials management site. In addition, information on companies that supply recycled-content landscape products is also available through the CalRecycle’s recycled-content product database, in the landscape and garden category. A series of fact sheets and technical publications on resource-efficient landscape design and management guidelines are available on the organics site. Staff is also working with landscape industry associations regarding the development of outreach programs, educational curriculum and professional certifications regarding resource-efficient landscape design and maintenance practices.
Services Provided by CalRecycle
Market Development for Recycled Materials
Staff works with processors of C&D facilities to maintain a C&D recyclers database. Staff is also implementing the Market Assessment Action Plan to quantify the flow of C&D materials within California markets. Staff provides assistance to manufacturers enable them to source materials to increase postconsumer recycled content in products and incorporate EPP criteria. Staff assists design teams with specifying salvaged, reused, and recycled content products.
Recycled-Content Product Database
CalRecycle’s recycled-content product database is one of the largest of its kind on the Internet, listing more than 2200 companies and 7000 products, including construction and landscaping products.
Sustainable Building Training Program
CalRecycle has developed a sustainable building design and construction curricula in order to conduct regional training seminars to state and local governments. The curricula will includes training modules to provide attendees with a basic understanding of sustainable design and construction.
Research and Reports
CalRecycle has commissioned numerous research and demonstration projects to further sustainable building and construction and demolition waste diversion.
Program staff works with various entities to develop or locate specifications for building projects. These specifications range from C&D recycling, to materials, to indoor environmental quality.
Sustainable Building Grant and Contract Program
The sustainable building grant and contract program was designed to leverage and empower existing sustainable building efforts. It advances sustainable building practices in California by providing grants and contracts to local government and state agencies to promote sustainable building through program implementation, workshops, educational outreach, and construction.