How did California do during 2015 when it comes to LEED credits and green building design? Brenden McEneaney, Director of the Northern California chapter of the United States Green Building Council, recently wrote a statement detailing a few improvements to expect in the coming year. These include Phase 2 of the Building Health Initiative and March’s Water Conservation Showcase, the latter of which is a specific reaction to the state’s issues with drought last year.

The Health Initiative, by contrast, is focused on improving the materials used in building projects by making them healthier, in an effort that will draw from the experience of international experts while developing “a tool for implementing healthy materials on building projects.” Finally, McEneaney also notes the upcoming October release of LEEDv4, which comes with workshops to help company users establish changes to their existing policies.

Drawing from past posts on the organization’s website, here are some strides that California already took last year toward more conscious energy use.

  • Energy data legislation: USGBC California supported legislation SB 350 with a companion effort to make energy data more transparent. Under these rules, property owners can more easily procure utility information.
  • Revisions to the California Green Building Standards Code: This environmental policy cornerstone was revised in the wake of the local drought. These changes concerned reducing water use based on the size of a building in square feet.
  • Updated documentation path: Halfway through 2015, certain California projects became eligible for the redone “alternative documentation path” for LEED. This includes changes to multiple MR items, including the Prerequisite Storage & Collection of Recyclables and Construction Waste Management credit.

Look for quality office furniture from a local provider to add to any energy-saving plans you need to make in 2016.