Amid much fanfare, in 2008 the Los Angeles City Council established the Green Building Program requiring, among other things, that most new structures over 50,000 square feet in size be built to the United States Green Building Council (“USGBC”) Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (“LEED”) basic “Certified” standard. To incentivize projects of any size attaining LEED “Silver” or higher equivalence, priority processing was offered. The third element of the City’s Green Building Program was to establish an inter-departmental Green Team to implement and recommend refinements to the Green Building Program. Since then, 28 projects have met the LEED Certified level and an additional 19 projects have received priority processing.
In the interim, the California state legislature adopted the first-in-the-nation green building code, the California Green Building Standards Code known as CALGreen. (Click here for more on CALGreen) All municipalities are required to comply with CALGreen as of January 1st of this year. In addition to the compulsory baseline requirements, CALGreen establishes more stringent “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” discretionary green measures. Under the legislation, local agencies can opt to enact their own version of CALGreen to incorporate the more rigorous “Tier 1” and/or “Tier 2” measures as mandatory.