California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Hydrofluorocarbons

To limit the use of refrigerants that harm the ozone layer and cause the greenhouse effect. The EPA is phasing out the use of these refrigerants gradually, but voluntary adoption of these regulations can fasten the process and safeguard our planet.

CALGreen Code Section A5.508.1.3: Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

Install HVAC and refrigeration equipment that do not contain HCFCs.

CALGreen Code Section A5.508.1.4: Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Install HVAC complying with either of the following:

1. Install HVAC, refrigeration and fire suppression equipment that do not contain HFCs or that do not contain HFCs with a global warming potential greater than 150.

2. Install HVAC and refrigeration equipment that limit the use of HFC refrigerant through the use of a secondary heat transfer fluid with a global warming potential no greater than 1.


The purpose of these measures is to reduce the use of refrigerants that deplete ozone and contribute to the greenhouse effect. These refrigerants are gradually being phased out of use by the EPA, but voluntary implementation of these standards can accelerate the process and protect our atmosphere. The California Mechanical Code, CCR, and California Fire Code regulate refrigerants and fire suppression equipment.

Compliance Method:

Provide specifications for equipment that uses complying refrigerants. Include recommendations in the Operation and Maintenance Manual for replenishment of refrigerants to meet these regulations, since inventory of phased-out refrigerants still exists for maintenance of older equipment.


Retain product data sheets and recommended maintenance for on-site verification by the enforcing agency and for the Operation and Maintenance Manual.


Plan intake: The plan reviewer should confirm in the construction documents that the equipment and refrigerant types for the project comply.

On-site enforcement: The inspector should verify that specified equipment and refrigerants are indeed installed on the project.

(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2022 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Appendix A5)

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