Marin County Adopts Low-Carbon Concrete Building Code


For Immediate Release
November 19, 2019

Contact: Kathryn Phillips 916-893-8494 (mobile)

Marin County Adopts Low-Carbon Concrete Building Code

MARIN COUNTY, CA—The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted an ordinance today that adds a low-carbon concrete specification to the Marin County Building Code.
The new code applies to all private and public construction projects involving concrete in Marin County and will take effect January 1, 2020.
Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. Cement, the binding agent in concrete, is the largest source of embodied emissions in buildings. The production of cement accounts for roughly 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The low-carbon concrete ordinance is part of a larger wave of policies that aim to address embodied carbon emissions in building materials. Earlier this year, Portland, Oregon adopted a program that requires all concrete used in city projects to disclose emissions through a product-specific, third-party verified environmental product declaration, or EPD.
In response to the Marin County action, Molly Culton, Conservation Organizer for Sierra Club California, issued the following statement:
“While a lot of work has been done to reduce operational emissions in buildings, addressing embodied emissions is the next frontier.
“With this concrete ordinance, Marin County has established itself as a leader in addressing greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.
”We anticipate other local governments in the Bay Area and beyond will pass similar policies.”

Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 Sierra Club chapters in California, representing more than 500,000 members and supporters statewide.