California Greenin’: David Johnson in Environmental Design+Construction on CalGreen Building Standards

The recently passed California Green Building Standards (CalGreen) will raise the baseline for new construction and have an enormous positive impact, given CalGreen’s widespread application. This new code from the California Building Standards Commission, which takes effect January 2011, will continue California’s legacy of environmental leadership. However, as we integrate these new requirements within the wide range of existing green standards, codes and rating systems, we are constantly faced with the question: Is what we’re doing green enough? In other words, if we meet the requirements of CalGreen, LEED or any other rating system, are we laying a path toward a sustainable future? Another way to approach this question is to step back and ask ourselves: What are we, as a society, working toward?