CalGreen Legislation

What is CalGreen?

The Green Building Standards Code, also known as CalGreen, is the nation's first mandatory green building code. In essence, it requires all new buildings in the State of California to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible. The comprehensive regulations will achieve major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and water use to create a greener California. The Code has both residential and non-residential components.

Use the CalGreen Residential Baseline Water Reduction Calculator to see if you Meet the 20% Water Reduction.

Why was it introduced?

CalGreen is a statewide mandate established to reduce construction waste, make buildings more efficient in the use of materials and energy, and reduce environmental impact during and after construction.

According to Governor Schwarzenegger, "The code will help us meet our goals of curbing global warming and achieving 33 percent renewable energy by 2020; and promotes the development of more sustainable communities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in every new home, office building or public structure."

Where does it take effect?

The residential portion of the code applies to newly constructed, low-rise residential structures, three stories or less. Remodels and existing homes are not required to follow the building code.

CalGreen Residential applies to the following types of low-rise residential structures:

  • Hotels, motels, lodging houses
  • Apartment houses, condominiums
  • One- and two-family dwellings, townhomes, factory-built housing
  • Dormitories, shelters for homeless persons, congregate residences, employee housing
  • Other types of dwellings containing sleeping accommodations with or without common toilets or cooking facilities
  • Accessory buildings, facilities and uses related to the above residential uses


The non-residential portion of the code applies to state-owned buildings, state university and community college buildings and privately-owned buildings used for retail, office and medical services.

What are the requirements of CalGreen?

CalGreen will require that every newly constructed building in California reduce water consumption by 20 percent, divert 50 percent of construction waste from landfills and install low pollutant-emitting materials. It also requires separate water meters for nonresidential buildings' indoor and outdoor water use. The mandatory code provisions will become the baseline of regulated green construction practices in the country's most populous state.

When will it be implemented?

The overall legislation took effect on January 1, 2011.

The Residential plumbing portion of CalGreen took effect July 1, 2011.

The Non-Residential plumbing portion of CalGreen took effect January 1, 2011.

What does the water conservation aspect entail?

CalGreen wishes to reduce overall use of potable water within a building by twenty percent. To demonstrate the twenty percent reduction to the building water use baseline, a performance calculation must show a combined reduction for only the lavatory faucets, shower heads, water closets and urinals. The twenty percent reduction calculation is compared to the baseline water use calculation for only those same fixture types. For non-residential only, the calculation includes kitchen faucets.

CalGreen only affects the installation of products, however, not the actual sale of "full-flow" products (like AB1953).

Which Moen products help meet the CalGreen legislation?


  • Lavatory Faucets - Moen's entire portfolio of lavatory faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) and are certified to meet WaterSense® requirements.
  • Showering - Moen offers a wide range of showerheads at both 1.75 gpm and 2.0 gpm flow rate, offering you flexibility in meeting the CalGreen requirement
  • Kitchen Faucets - Moen's pulldown and pullouts flow at 1.5 gpm, meeting the CalGreen kitchen Voluntary Tier 1 requirement. Kitchen fixed spouts and fixed spouts with sidesprays flow at 2.0 gpm and can meet requirements with the use of Moen's Eco-Performance adapters.



  • M•Press™ metering faucets are factory preset to 10 seconds providing 0.083 gallon per cycle (GPC) which is below the requirements of 0.2 GPC.
  • M•Power™ electronic flush valves are preset to flow rates ranging from 0.125 (pint) to 0.5 gallon per flush (GPF) for urinal valves; and 1.28 gpf for closet valves - all which meet or exceed CalGreen and LEED requirements.
  • Moen Commercial now offers WaterSense-certified shower systems, new slide bar grab bar systems, as well as hand showers and fixed showerhead accessories in a choice of 1.75 gpm or 1.5 gpm flow rates.
  • New reduced flow products, which will meet or exceed both CalGreen and LEED requirements, will also be introduced throughout 2012 including new .35 gpm options for our M•Dura, Heavy-Duty, M•Power Sensor-Operated and M•Bition Medium-Duty faucet lines.


Are there any national implications?

At this time, only the State of California will be affected by CalGreen.

Where can I go for more information?

There are a number of websites which can provide additional information, including: