California Greenin': Green Guide
Buildings account for one-sixth of the world's fresh water withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Building "green" is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings that improve human health, build a better environment, and provide cost savings.
The practice of designing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and removing buildings in ways that conserve natural resources and reduce pollution is continuing to grow as more and more resources are becoming available and technology advances to provide products that are economically feasible.
Through sustainable or "green" building practices, California is commited to lead by example to improve the energy and environmental performance of existing and new state-owned buildings. By implementing sustainable practices in the facilities it owns, leases, retrofits or maintains, California can conserve resources and save money.
These links can help answer questions and get any organization started in creating a sustainable environment.
Recycled Aggregate. This material is produced by crushing concrete and asphalt according to strict manufacturing standards. These standards comply with Caltrans, the Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction (Greenbook), or specific building project specifications. Recycled aggregate has been successfully used by Caltrans as road base and subbase since the 1970s.
Asphalt Roofing. This site discusses the recycling of asphalt roofing shingles, or "composition shingles" including shingle quantities, composition, processing, products, and products made with recycled asphalt roofing shingles.
Building and Buying Green in Indian Country: A Practical Guide for California Tribes. This comprehensive guide provides tribal project decision makers and planners with an overview of "green" building practices to help them evaluate and choose sustainable options as they develop projects with architects, contractors, suppliers, or other building professionals. The guide offers a range of ideas for any type of building project in any climate.
Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Publications and Resources. CHPS’s goal is to facilitate the design of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities needed for a quality education.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. LEED™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The LEED program is managed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Specifications and Standards
California Sustainable Carpet Standard Publication (PDF, 298 KB). This publication was created for carpet purchased by and for the state of California and establishes minimum requirements to improve the State's management of materials by reducing its waste stream and better safeguarding human health by protecting indoor air quality. Management Memo 06-08 (PDF, 132 KB) requires carpet purchased by state agencies after August 31, 2006, to meet as a minimum the new California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard whenever three or more manufacturers meet this standard.
Find California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) contracts that contain products that may meet the California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard (Check the word "Green" on the search page). Local agencies may use state contracts.
Electronics. In response to the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, the CIWMB (now CalRecycle) evaluated and adopted the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) rating system as environmental purchasing criteria to be used by state agencies to identify electronic devices with reduced environmental impacts. EPEAT certification exists for desktop units, laptop or notebook computers, and monitors.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Best Practices Manual (PDF, 4 MB). Detailed information on numerous products and services, including what to consider in developing specifications.
- Green California Standards and Specifications. This page links to some green standards and specifications that are used by the state of California.
- Green Seal. A nonprofit organization that provides science-based environmental certification standards.
- Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). PSI is a national non-profit membership-based organization. PSI works with state and local government agencies to partner with manufacturers, retailers, environmental groups, federal agencies, and other key stakeholders to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products.
- Green Seal Environmental Standard for Recycled-Content Latex Paint. On August 9, 2006, Green Seal, Inc. and the Product Stewardship Institute announced the completion of a national environmental standard for recycled-content latex paint. The standard is aimed at assuring consumers that recycled paint, in addition to being environmentally beneficial, can perform as well as virgin paint, both in terms of ease of application and quality and longevity of finish.
- National Paint Dialogue. Since December 2003, the Product Stewardship Institute has facilitated a national dialogue aimed at reducing the generation of leftover paint, while increasing reuse and recycling opportunities.
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). In addition to certifying specific environmental attributes and claims of environmental preferability, SCS is a leading U.S. practitioner of life-cycle impact assessment.