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California Building Standards Commission Approves New Water Efficiency Requirements for Nonresidential Construction

Contact: Brian Ferguson
(916) 376-5038

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2015

SACRAMENTO - In response to the current drought state of emergency declared by Governor Brown, the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) today approved new water efficiency requirements for nonresidential construction.

"In the face of California's unprecedented drought, we must update our building codes to use water as efficiently as possible," said DGS Acting Director Esteban Almanza.  "California is serious about water conservation and is committed to promoting cost-effective policies that promote healthier places to live and work.”

The emergency changes to the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) for nonresidential construction enhance elements of the existing Department of Water Resources Model Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance (MWELO).  The emergency measures are intended to improve water efficiency in new exterior landscaped areas. Other existing methods of conserving potable water include the use of captured rainwater, recycled water or graywater in landscape areas.

The new requirements apply to all outdoor water use for nonresidential construction projects that are permitted beginning in June.

CBSC, a commission within the Department of General Services, is responsible for reviewing and approving building standards proposed and adopted by state agencies, and the codification and publication of approved building standards into the California Building Standards Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24). CBSC administers California's building code adoption processes including emergency rulemaking.

To learn more about the state's drought response, visit  Drought.CA.Gov

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at


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