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CalGreen (California Green Building Standards Code)  
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The City of Chula Vista CalGreen Process Guide

Permit applications submitted on or after Nov. 5, 2009, must comply with the requirements of Chula Vista Municipal Code Chapter 15.12, “Green Building Standards”.  These measures shall apply to all new residential construction, remodels, additions, and alterations, and to all new nonresidential construction, remodels, additions, and tenant improvements.

Prior to the start of your job, consider the plumbing fixtures, materials, products and building practices that you intend to use.  They must comply with the Chula Vista Green Building Standards (CVGBS) and are required as part of your project. The CVGBS document must be incorporated into your set of plans as part of the initial submittal.  Use the Plan Check Version for Submittals, which has been formatted for the plans.

Most fixtures, materials and products are readily available but may require additional ordering times. Building practices should need only slight modification to meet the stated goals.  Most documentation and verification must be completed before the “Interior Wall Construction” or “Rough Framing” inspection can be approved.  Note:  It is important to save all the information from the fixtures, materials and products to be used on your job.  These will serve as your proof to the Building Inspector that compliance has been met.  Labels, packaging, invoices, receipts, material safety data sheets and anything else that documents compliance must be available to your Building Inspect upon request. All requirements of the CVGBS must be met before “Occupancy” and “Final Inspection” are approved.  Consult with your Building Inspector during the process or call / e-mail the Sustainability Desk at (619) 691-5272 ext. 3613 and at  For more information and about our other “Green” programs, please visit our Sustainability Center.

Plumbing Fixtures

The plumbing aspects of the CVGBS can be met in one of two ways:

  • Provide a calculation demonstrating a 20% reduction in the projects “water use baseline” as established in Table #1.  The projects architect or designer will include this as part of the submittal for Plan Check to the Building Department.
  • Provide documentation that each plumbing fixture and/or fitting meets the 20% reduced flow rate specified in Table #2.  Fixtures that comply have the Environmental Protection Agency’s “WaterSense” logo listed on the packaging.  Paperwork that comes with the fixtures also states the water usage.    

Materials and Products

Chemicals found in materials and products, in sufficient amounts can be toxic to humans.  The term for these chemicals is “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOC’s).  Manufacturers have been proactive in supplying products that meet the chemical emission limits of the CVGBS.  The new materials and products are now no more expensive than their predecessors.  Non-compliant materials are gradually being phased out from the market. However in this transition period not every product meets the VOC limits.  Before you purchase materials and products, check the labeling for ”VOC” amounts or ask the suppliers to provide you with the Material Safety Data Sheets, (MSDS’s).  These sheets contain the information on the VOC amounts, which can be cross-referenced against the CVGBS Tables  #3, #4 and #5.  Many products have some type of logo or stamp on the label that makes identification of compliant products easier.   The Building Inspector on your jobsite will ask to see your product labels and/or the MSDS’s to confirm you are using the correct products. 

Adhesive” and “Coatings” VOC limits can be found on the CVGBS Table #3 and Table #4 respectively.  You may see package labeling that say’s “VOC Compliant” or has the "GreenGuard” or “GreenSpec” or “GreenSeal” logos.  Products with these logos comply with the CVGBS.  If no such identification exists, the product will have the VOC’s per pound or gallon listed on the label, which must then be cross-referenced against the Tables.  If still unsure, ask the management for the MSDS.   

All carpet and underlayment or “Cushion” shall meet the requirements of Green Label / Green Label Plus, California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard or Scientific Certifications Systems Indoor Advantage Gold certifications.   


The chemical “Formaldehyde” is used in different wood products found in the finish materials on the interiors of buildings.  Plywood and sheet goods used in the framing structure of the building are not regulated.  Formaldehyde limits can be found on the CVGBS Table #5.  Again, the industry has been proactive in supplying compliant materials and is phasing out any non-compliant.  In this transition period, check the product for labeling or ask for the Material Safety Data Sheets.  Proper materials will have the California Air Resources Board’s  “CARB Certified” printed on the edges or on a sticker.  Labeling from the Forest Stewardship Council and the Kitchen Cabinets Manufacturers Association’s Environmental Stewardship Program also assure compliant materials and products.  Although appliances are not covered by this “Standard” it is recommended the units certified as Energy Star be used. 

Building Practices

All projects must comply with the City Of Chula Vista Municipal Code Ordinances:

  1. Storm Water Management and Discharge Control Chapter 14.20
  2. Construction Waste Reduction, Disposal and Recycling Chapter 8.25.095
  3. Energy Efficiency Chapter 15.26 
  4. Please see the Chula Vista Green Building Standards for:
    • Air Sealing – Openings in the building envelope must be sealed.  This process provides for energy efficiency, moisture control and rodent and insect protection.
    • Pollutant Control – Covering of duct openings and protection of mechanical equipment during construction.  This will prevent contaminants from being circulated after construction is complete.
    • Indoor moisture control – Wall and floor framing shall not be enclosed when the framing members exceed 19% moisture content.  Tests may need to be taken if the building is subjected to rain, flooding or plumbing leaks.
    • Indoor Air Quality and Exhaust – Mechanical exhaust fans shall terminate outside the building and be Energy Star rated.  Heating and air conditioning filters shall be rated at MERV 6 or higher.  Product or packaging will have this rating.
    • Your Building Inspector will verify compliance with these measures at the “Interior Wall Construction” or the “Frame” stage of your project and afterwards.  Please save the fan and filter information and make it available upon request.
  5. Operation and Maintenance Manual – Full manuals are required on all newly constructed buildings and shall be provided to the owner/operator and/or occupants.  Remodels, additions and tenant improvements are exempt from the "Manual" requirements. Information shall be targeted towards either the Residential or Non-Residential clientele.  Please submit the drafts of these Manuals to your Building Inspector or the "Sustainability Desk" at for review and approval of the material.  An early submittal will allow time for any corrections to be made (if necessary) prior to Final Inspection.  The above link contains valuable information for homeowners, property owners and contractors about sustainable building.

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