User Guide


Business as Usual
A project built and operated to the prevailing building code and other regulations, without extraordinary mitigating actions.

A spreadsheet model for forecasting greenhouse gases from land development. It was developed by the Southern California Air Quality Management District. It can be downloaded at no cost for use on PC platforms

The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, who administers CalEEMod. There are 35 AQMD’s in California.

California Environmental Quality Act Passed in 1970, it requires all development projects over a threshold significant emissions to report their greenhouse gas emissions and other impacts.

Climate Zone
A geographic part of the State of California characterized by unique temperature, wind, precipitation and other factors that influence building heating and cooling.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
A gas that contributes to climate change and planetary heating by trapping solar radiation near the Earth’s surface.

Hydrologic Zone (or Region)
A geographic part of the State of California, in turn part of a hierarchical system of river drainages and basins established by the USGS.

Internal Trip Capture
The number of vehicle trips avoided by locating complimentary Land Use Types such as residential, office and retail on the same site.

Kilowatt hours, a measure of energy delivered by electricity. This is a common measure of building heating and cooling and water transmission, and equals a thousands watts of work over one hour.

Land Use Category
One of the ten land use groups defined by CalEEMod.

Land Use Type
One of the 74 individual land uses that are the same as the categories defined by CalEEMod.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by employing reduction strategies in Energy, Transportation, Water, Solid Waste and Construction.

Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year emitted by a land development. It is a composite of several greenhouse gases which are present, but have a lesser overall impact. CO2 equivalents are used in reporting project impacts in compliance with CEQA.

A single run of Carbon Planner for one site location, size and land use mix, with a forecast of MTCO2e emissions.

Service Population
The number of employees plus the number of residents who are housed in a proposed development project. For schools, it is the number of faculty and staff, and for public assembly venues it is the number of employees.

Threshold of Significance
The level of MTCO2e emissions that triggers an Environmental Impact Statement (EIR). Two thresholds are commonly used: 1) the total emissions of a project, and 2) the emissions per Service Population.

Trip Generation
The number of vehicle trips to and from a particular Land Use Type over a set time period. These are defined by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). These are updated annually. 


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