California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) control

California Green Building Code (CALGreen) proposes to prohibit smoking in the public areas of the building except in designated smoking areas. Public areas include all common areas that are part of the core and shell that are not tenant spaces. Locate any exterior designated smoking areas at least 25 feet away from entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows. Smoking areas to effectively contain, capture and remove ETS from the building, it must be directly exhausted to the outdoors with no re-circulation of ETS-containing air to the non-smoking area of the building.

CALGreen Code Section 5.504.7: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) control. 

Where outdoor areas are provided for smoking, prohibit smoking within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows and within the building as already prohibited by other laws or regulations; or as enforced by ordinances, regulations or policies of any city, county, city and county, California Community College, campus of the California State University, or campus of the University of California, whichever are more stringent. When ordinances, regulations or policies are not in place, post signage to inform building occupants of the prohibitions 


For buildings with smoking prohibitions, and in those instances where outdoor areas are dedicated for the use of smokers, this requirement is intended to improve indoor air quality and to protect nonsmokers from second-hand smoke. State law prohibits smoking inside most buildings, and many local jurisdictions and college campuses have regulations banning smoking outside of buildings within certain distances to building entrances, windows and air intakes. Assembly Bill 1807 (Chapter 1047, Statutes of 1983) details the public policy of the state that emissions of toxic air contaminants should be controlled to levels that prevent harm to the public health.

Compliance Method:

Include in the construction documents a signage specification that prohibits smoking for an outdoor area within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows. Check with the local authority having jurisdiction to see if there is a more restrictive smoke-free area ordinance. 


In order to clarify sign placement and smoking area(s), show on one or all of the following drawings: site plan, floor plan, elevations and/or detail sheet.


Plan intake: The plan reviewer should confirm in the construction documents that, if an outdoor smoking area is shown, signage is specified and appropriately located.

On-site enforcement: The inspector should review any outdoor smoking areas indicated on the permit set and verify that proper signage is installed. 

(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Chapter 5)

California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Outside air delivery

CALGreen-Fresh Air – Ventilation is the essential process of replacing stale air with fresh air. Proper ventilation in buildings helps curb the spread of allergens and toxins in the air. It helps to moderate internal temperatures, internal humidity, replenishing oxygen, reducing the accumulation of moisture, odours, bacteria, dust, carbon dioxide, smoke and other contaminants that can build up during occupied periods.

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California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Filters

California Green Building Code CALGreen – Filters – Air Filter system potentially removes solid airborne particles in a specific space, if inhaled in the lungs, it is generally harmful to human health. It protects their occupants against external and internal sources of air contaminants and improve their comfort, health and productivity with clean indoor air. It filters harmful particles such as germs, dust, pollen, powder, mold, fibers, etc.

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California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Supermarket refrigerant leak reduction

CALGreen Code Section 5.508.2: Supermarket refrigerant leak reduction. 

New commercial refrigeration systems shall comply with the provisions of this section when installed in retail food stores 8,000 square feet or more conditioned area, and that utilize either refrigerated display cases, or walk-in coolers or freezers connected to remote compressor units or condensing units.

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