Changes to the CA Green Building Standards Code

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Changes are being made to improve energy conservation in hot water delivery to plumbing fixtures, to make the installation of grab bars in bathrooms easier, and to make sure maintenance information for solar and car-charging systems is included with the documentation provided to new home buyers.

Three (3) changes to CALGreen (Title 24, Part II), proposed to take effect in 2016, will require changes to the Homeowner Maintenance Manual given to new home buyers.  When adopted, these changes would apply to any project for which the APPLICATION for building permit occurs after January 1, 2016.

The first change affects the way water heater piping is installed.  This will apply to tankless and tank-type systems.  The user will have a control at the sink or shower to start the recirculation pump.  An “aquastat” (senses water temperature) will turn the pump off when hot water reaches the sink or shower.  The Homeowner Manual will need to include maintenance information on this new system:

Proposed Change to CALGreen in the “Definitions” Section:

DEMAND HOT WATER RECIRCULATION SYSTEM. A hot water recirculation system requiring manual activation and a thermostat that will automatically shut off the recirculation pump when the water temperature reaches a preset level at the point of use.]

Rationale: HCD proposes to adopt the above referenced definition. The terms “Demand Recirculation System” is used in Section 4.408.6, which HCD proposes for adoption.

Proposed Change to CALGreen in the “Definitions” Section:

HOT WATER RECIRCULATION SYSTEM. A hot water distribution system that reduces the time needed to deliver hot water to fixtures that are distant from the water heater, boiler or other water heating equipment. The recirculation system is comprised of hot water supply and return piping with shutoff valves, balancing valves, circulating pumps, and a method of controlling the circulating system.]

Rationale: HCD proposes to adopt the above referenced definition. The terms “Hot Water Recirculation System” is used in Section 4.408.6, which HCD proposes for adoption.

The second change requires that additional “backing” (blocking) be installed in bathroom walls at strategic locations to support the installation of grab bars.  Section 4.410.1 “Operation and Maintenance Manual” will be changed to add Bullet Point #11, which says that information and/or drawings showing the location of this additional backing needs to be included in the Homeowner Manual:

Proposed Changes to CALGreen in Section 4.408.6:

4.408.6 Reinforcement for bathrooms. All ground floor bathrooms and/or powder rooms in residential dwelling units shall be provided with reinforcement for future installation of grab bars. The grab bar reinforcement shall be installed in accordance with all of the following (the proposed changes include five (5) installation requirements, not included here):

Rationale: HCD proposes to adopt the above referenced section. This proposal would require installation of reinforcement for grab bars in all ground floor bathrooms and/or powder rooms in residential dwelling units with some exceptions.

HCD’s proposal would require reinforcement blocking/backing to be provided in the wall framing for future installation of grab bars in ground floor bathrooms constructed under this code at a very minimal cost. The advantages and benefits of providing this reinforcement at the time of original construction are many; Homeowners desiring to install grab bars for bathtubs, showers, and water closets after original construction will not be required to go through a costly and messy project to remove finishes and open up interior walls to retrofit wall framing, and install backing to support grab bars.  The blocking/backing material is readily available as scraps or cutoffs of framing lumber during the original construction of a home, so the minimal cost to cut and install blocking/backing in the bathroom walls is in most cases limited to the labor cost.  Additionally, the use of this scrap lumber will reduce the amount of construction waste transported to landfills or material recovery facilities.  Another benefit is the fact that installing the reinforcement blocking/backing during original construction, as compared to after the walls are finished can minimize the number of vehicle miles travelled for carpenters, drywall contractors, painters, and other trades associated with demolition, installation of reinforcement, replacement of gypsum board and wall finishes after original construction, thereby helping the state reach its AB 32 goals of reducing the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The proposed amendment is intended to address the potential issues of the aging population in California by providing readily adaptable bathrooms which are easier to install grab bars for mobility issues associated with our aging population, and is not related to the accessibility provisions of the California Building Code, Chapter 11A.  The provisions are intended to reduce the cost for future installation of grab bars, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases generated associated with alteration projects.  The added benefit of using this often available scrap lumber as backing is that it reduces the amount of construction waste.

HCD also proposes to adopt new Item 11 in Section 4.410, requiring information and/or drawings identifying the location of grab bar reinforcement in bathrooms. This proposal is necessary due to the newly proposed requirement for grab bar reinforcement in Section 4.409.1.



4.410.1 Operation and maintenance manual. At the time of final inspection, a manual, compact disc, web-based reference or other media acceptable to the enforcing agency which includes all of the following shall be placed in the building:

  1. Information and/or drawings identifying the location of grab bar reinforcement in bathrooms.

The third change is an addition to the language in Section 4.410.1, 2.(a).  Operation and maintenance instructions for photovoltaic systems and electric vehicle chargers will be added to the general list of equipment and appliances so that they are not overlooked:

Rationale: HCD proposes to continue adoption of the above referenced section with new amendments. HCD proposes to add “photovoltaic systems” and “electric vehicle chargers” to Item 2, clarifying that operation and maintenance instructions for PV systems and EV chargers are required in the manual.  Currently Item 2(a) requires operation and maintenance instructions for equipment and appliances. “Photovoltaic systems” and “electric vehicle chargers” fall under this category; therefore, these are covered by Item 2(a) even though not specifically stated in the text. PV systems and EV chargers are systems that play an important role in many households in California, and their importance is increasing every day. HCD proposes to incorporate these two terms in the existing language in order to provide clarity to code users as to other systems requiring operation and maintenance instructions. There is no intended change in regulatory effect.



4.410.1 Operation and maintenance manual. At the time of final inspection, a manual, compact disc, web-based reference or other media acceptable to the enforcing agency which includes all of the following shall be placed in the building:

  1. Operation and maintenance instructions for the following:
  2. Equipment and appliances, including water-saving devices and systems, HVAC systems, photovoltaic systems, electric vehicle chargers, water-heating systems and other major appliances and equipment.
  3. Roof and yard drainage, including gutters and downspouts.
  4. Space conditioning systems, including condensers and air filters.
  5. Landscape irrigation systems.
  6. Water reuse systems.

These are all fairly small changes, but more and more building officials are taking a close look at the Homeowner Manual as they start to enforce CALGreen, and can delay final permitting (and therefore your ability to close on the home) until they are satisfied the manual you are giving to new home buyers satisfies Section 4.410 of the Code.


J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

George Van Oosbree Bio

George Van Oosbree is the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations in Nevada. He has been a manager with ProTec for 17 years. He holds a California/Nevada General Contractors and painting license; as well as, certifications in Playground Safety and SWPPP. He is also a United States Green Building Counsel LEED Accredited Professional and EPA Certified Lead Renovator.  Developers rely on George’s knowledge (nearly 100 High-rise and Mid-rise Projects) and 30 years of experience to construct sustainable and maintainable projects.

Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

As ProTec’s Human Resources Manager, Laura Swirski, brings knowledge and experience in HR and Organizational Development from a variety of industries ranging from property management, non-profit, government, public utility, and hospitality.  Laura enjoys an employee focused and hands-on approach to HR.  She believes employees are a company’s most important resource.  An organization is successful when employees are in the right job and are involved, committed, and work together toward shared goals.  Laura is conscientious, a hard worker, and desires to learn, improve, and make a difference.

Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

Cesar Ibarra is ProTec’s Janitorial Manager and has been with the company for 8 years. He ensures that the janitorial work quality is consistent and manages the planning of large level custodial projects. He prides himself in his knowledge of janitorial services and has over 10 years of experience in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. He and his team devote themselves to our clients and provide customized janitorial services that are specifically tailored for each community or project.

Paul Mayeski Bio

Paul oversees ProTec’s Maintenance Manuals and Inspections Division. Before joining the ProTec team in 2000, Paul spent 4 years converting his Industrial Arts education into becoming a trained cabinetmaker, followed by 13 years building custom homes and then 7 years administering building maintenance programs and overseeing maintenance manual implementations for one of San Diego’s largest community management companies.  Because of his combined experience in the building and community management industries, he is uniquely suited to ensure that our clients’ projects are successful.

Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.