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Brown Says State’s Buildings Must Go Green

An executive order directs state agencies to cut carbon emissions, save water and energy

California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento. In 2003, the 25-story tower was given a “Platinum” rating by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2003.

Governor Jerry Brown decreed yesterday that state-owned buildings across California must go green.

The executive order stipulates that state agencies must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% using 2010 as a baseline, and half of all new and renovated buildings must be Net Zero Energy by 2020. The order, B-18-12, also continues a previous policy requiring state-owned buildings larger than 10,000 square feet to meet the guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Silver” rating.

“This shows that the state is very focused on meeting very ambitious yet achievable goals,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesperson for the governor’s office.

The move is a step toward compliance with AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires that statewide greenhouse gas emissions brought down to 1990 levels by 2020.

According to a release from the governor’s office, the statewide initiative will also save one billion gallons of water and an estimated $45 million in tax dollars each year. Westrup did not have figures on projected job creation, but he pointed out that similar initiatives geared toward efficiency have created 1.5 million jobs across the state since 1978.

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Sneak Preview of Living in a “Zero-Net Energy” World

Davis housing development claims to the the nation’s biggest

Ana Tintocalis

West Village features sleek lines and cutting-edge energy-efficient design concepts.

The typical American master-planned community sill features cookie-cutter houses, cement driveways and green lawns. But UC Davis is putting a new spin on the concept with the unveiling of West Village, a $300 million student and faculty housing community designed to be “zero-net energy.” Developers say it’s the nation’s largest to employ this kind of green construction.

And although “zero-net” [PDF] may sound complicated, the concept is actually quite simple: All the buildings in West Village will take in as much energy as they put back into the power grid — not on a daily basis but at the end of each year, the total consumption of the entire housing development should “net out” to zero. Continue reading