Assemblymember Chris Holden Introduces the Carbon Intensity of Construction and Building Materials Act

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden introduced AB 2446, the Carbon Intensity of Construction and Building Materials Act, a measure which would require the State to develop a framework for measuring and then reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the construction of new buildings, including those for residential uses. The bill would require the Energy Commission to design the framework to achieve an eighty percent net reduction in new construction by 2045, which is aligned with Executive Order B-55-18 that sets a statewide goal of carbon net neutrality no later than 2045.

“It is no surprise that housing is an issue in California, and it is our duty as the state to provide solutions to guide key sectors to becoming more sustainable, said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “My hope is to work together across sectors to reach our carbon emission goals and to secure better practices for the people and the planet.”

California is currently facing a housing shortage and it is imperative that the state meet its housing goals, however that progress should not come at the expense of California’s climate targets. It is the responsibility of the state to find solutions that allow housing and climate targets to reinforce one another. We simply cannot reach our carbon reduction goals without the involvement of all sectors.

The rising costs of traditional building materials are a threat to affordable housing in the state. However, through conscious design to reduce materials used and the employment of low carbon construction materials, the embodied carbon of a building can be reduced with little or no incremental cost to the builder. There has been a growing early market for low carbon building materials and further growth of this sector will create economic benefits for the state. There is growing momentum at the Federal level to decarbonize the building sector and California can continue to be a leader on climate by taking early steps to measure and reduce the embodied carbon of building materials.

“California is home to innovative technologies and building material suppliers that can help us reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings’ construction while creating jobs,” said Sam Ruben, Chief Sustainability Office and Co-Founder of Mighty Buildings. Mighty Buildings is utilizing technology to create low carbon intensity housing and new jobs.

The legislation requires a life cycle assessment to determine the carbon intensity of both residential and non-residential buildings in the state.  Following this assessment, the Energy Commission will begin work on a framework to reduce the carbon intensity over time.  The legislation requires the Commission to leverage State and Federal incentives to reduce the cost of implementing the framework and to increase economic value for the State.