CALGreen, the nation’s first green building code, went into force Jan. 1 in the world’s eighth-largest economy. PROSOCO’s Regulatory Affairs Director Dwayne Fuhlhage offers this report on how the new code affects specifiers of regulated paints, coatings and sealants.
by Dwayne Fuhlhage, CHMM
Regulatory Affairs Director
The agencies in charge of implementing CALGreen are gradually putting some meat on its bones.
In the case of the Department of Housing and Community Development, that means putting together certification forms for purposes of determining conformance with CALGreen residential building requirements.
It appears the standard of care for specifying VOC compliant construction materials has gone up a couple of notches. This is an excerpt from the new Declaration Statement form for paints and coatings found in the Pollutant Control Forms section of the website:
PAINTS AND COATINGS – DECLARATION STATEMENT (PC 7)
The following section shall be completed by a person with overall responsibility for the planning and design portion of the project.
● I certify under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of California, the information provided is true and correct.
● I certify that the installed measures, materials, components, or manufactured devices identified on this certificate conform to all applicable codes and regulations, and the installation is consistent with the plans and specifications approved by the enforcing agency.
What does this mean for the architect or architectural specifier? To be honest, there has always been legal responsibility involved in the selection of paints and coatings through enforcement of various AIM VOC regulations.
The difference is that nobody outside of the regulated product manufacturers had to sign certifications like the one above. Even that was generally for poorly enforced reporting obligations.
Also, day-to-day AIM VOC regulation enforcement is spotty at best. Even the largest Air Quality Management District staff in the state has only a handful of field inspectors.
Now, every code official will become the de facto enforcement official for AIM VOC compliance and will drive responsibility back to the general contractor and the architect of record.
If you are specifying regulated paints, coatings and sealants, make sure your vendor can demonstrate knowledge on how the new CARB AIM VOC Suggested Control Measure (SCM) applies to their products.
Category definitions and limits have changed effective January 1. The CARB SCM definitions aren’t consistent with South Coast AQMD’s Rule 1113 definitions, either. This is an important factor if you are doing LEED projects as EQ credit criteria (based on South Coast 2004 Rule 1113 compliance) which won’t necessarily match the CARB SCM conformance criteria as defined in CALGreen.
Check out our new white paper on CALGreen for more information on CALGreen in general and how it impacts coatings and sealants.