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California adopts first statewide green building code in the U.S.

California could soon be home to some the greenest buildings in the nation. On Tuesday, the state unanimously approved a green building code that is the most stringent environmentally friendly building code in the U.S.

Dubbed Calgreen, the new code, which takes effect next January, requires contractors to divert 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling, reduce indoor water usage by 20% and use low pollutant paints, carpets and floorings. The new standards are expected to help the state reach its goal of cutting CO2 emissions by a third by 2020.

Regions of the state that currently have stricter green building codes than the new state code, such as San Francisco, will be allowed to keep their independent standards.

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